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The Pronk Pops Show 1188, December 13, 2018, Story 1: Democrats Keep Banging The Impeachment Drums and President Trump Will Win In A Landslide in 2020 — Videos — Story 2: The FBI Entrapment of Retired Lt. General Flynn — Videos — Story 3: American People Demand Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Investigate The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation Handling of The Clinton Email and Clinton Foundation Investigations and Failure To Verify The Christopher Steele Dossier and Disclose It Was Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democrat National Committee to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

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Story 1: Democrats Keep Banging The Impeachment Drums and President Trump Will Win In A Landslide in 2020 — Videos —

Dershowitz: Trump Won’t Be Impeached Unless ‘Massive New Information’ Comes Out

Trump will benefit if Democrats try to impeach him: Dennis Miller

Trump pushes back against Democrats’ impeachment threats

Exclusive interview: Trump sits down with Harris Faulkner

BREAKING: Trump Reveals Exactly Why He’s Not Afraid of Impeachment

Story 2: The FBI Entrapment of Retired Lt. General Flynn — Judge Emmett Sullivan Orders Mueller To Turn Over All FBI Summaries of Interviews with General Flynn (302s) — Videos

 

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Did James Comey set up Michael Flynn?

Comey admits to sending FBI agents to interview Flynn without telling White House

Gowdy blasts Comey: An ‘amnesiac with incredible hubris’

Devin Nunes – How Gen Flynn Was Framed, 2477

Comey Admits FBI Flubbed Standard Protocol During Flynn’s Interview

James Comey in Conversation with Nicolle Wallace

Comey Quietly Admits: “Trump Did Not Collude With Russia”

Mueller says ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn cooperated in Russia probe

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/13/18 Breaking Fox News December 13, 2018

Michael Flynn’s lawyers request no prison time

Flynn’s Claim Catches Judge’s Eye, Demands All FBI Documents Related to Case by Friday

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/13/18 | Breaking Fox News | December 13, 2018

The Federal Judge Overseeing Michael Flynn’s Sentencing Just Dropped A Major Bombshell

The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple summaries of Michael Flynn’s questioning, which may indicate they’re hiding the truth.

By Margot Cleveland

On Tuesday, attorneys for Michael Flynn filed a sentencing memorandum and letters of support for the former Army lieutenant general in federal court. The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple 302 interview summaries of Flynn’s questioning by now-former FBI agent Peter Strzok and a second unnamed agent, reported to be FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka.

Further revelations may be forthcoming soon following an order entered late yesterday by presiding judge Emmet Sullivan, directing the special counsel’s office to file with the court any 302s or memorandum relevant to Flynn’s interview.

Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, pleaded guilty more than a year ago to making false statements to federal investigators during a January 24, 2017 interview. During that interview, Strzok and (presumably) Pientka questioned Flynn about a telephone conversation the Trump advisor had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

While Flynn’s sentencing memorandum methodically laid out the case for a low-level sentence of one-year probation, footnote 23 dropped a bomb, revealing that the agents’ 302 summary of his interview was dated August 22, 2017. As others have already noted, the August 22, 2017 date is a “striking detail” because that puts the 302 report “nearly seven months after the Flynn interview.” When added to facts already known, this revelation takes on a much greater significance.

First, text messages between Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page indicate that Strzok wrote his notes from the Flynn interview shortly after he questioned the national security advisor on January 24, 2017. Specifically, on February 14, 2017, Strzok texted Page, “Also, is Andy good with F 302?” Page responded, “Launch on f 302.” Given Strzok’s role in the questioning Flynn, the date (three weeks from the interview), the notation “F 302,” and Page’s position as special counsel to Andrew McCabe, it seems extremely likely that these text exchanges concerned a February 2017, 302 summary of the Flynn interview.

Additionally, now that we know from the sentencing memorandum that the special counsel’s office has tendered a 302 interview summary dated August 22, 2017, we can deduce that an earlier 302 form existed from James Comey’s Friday testimony before the House judiciary and oversight committees.

During the day-long questioning of the former FBI Director, Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Comey whether the agents who interviewed Flynn had indicated that Flynn did not intend to deceive them during the interview. After Comey replied “No,” Gowdy pushed him, asking “Have you ever testified differently?” Comey again responded, “No.”

But when asked whether he recalled being asked that question doing an earlier House hearing, Comey countered: “No. I recall — I don’t remember what question I was asked. I recall saying the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing.” (More on that testimony shortly.) This exchange then followed:

Mr. Gowdy: “Who would you have gotten that from if you were not present for the interview?”

Mr. Comey: “From someone at the FBI, who either spoke to — I don’t think I spoke to the interviewing agents but got the report from the interviewing agents.”

Mr. Gowdy: “All right. So you would have, what, read the 302 or had a conversation with someone who read the 302?”

Mr. Comey: “I don’t remember for sure. I think I may have done both, that is, read the 302 and then investigators directly. I just don’t remember that.”

President Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, so the 302 of the Flynn interview Comey read must have been written before then. Why then was a new 302 drafted on August 22, 2017? And by whom?

The timing of the re-write—shortly after then-FBI Agent Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump text messages came to light—raises the possibility that Mueller wanted to scrub the evidence of Strzok’s taint. Having the second agent involved in questioning Flynn draft a new 302 summary would eliminate attacks premised on Strzok’s bias against the president.

But was that the only reason the FBI issued a new 302? Were there any differences in the versions?

Congress has been trying to get to the bottom of this question for months upon months. In February, senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham requested the DOJ inspector general, Michael Horowitz, conduct a comprehensive review of potential misconduct in the Russia investigation and specifically asked Horowitz to answer these questions about the Flynn interview and the 302s:

“Did the FBI agents document their interview with Lt. Gen. Flynn in one or more FD-302s? What were the FBI agents’ conclusions about Lt. Gen. Flynn’s truthfulness, as reflected in the FD-302s? Were the FD-302s ever edited? If so, by whom? At who’s direction? How many drafts were there? Are there material differences between the final draft and the initial draft(s) or the agent’s testimony about the interview?”

Horowitz has yet to answer these questions, but the special counsel’s office now has federal judge Sullivan inquiring as well. Sullivan made history a decade ago when he ordered an independent investigation into “the systemic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence,” he discovered during the government’s prosecution of the now-deceased Ted Stevens, then the senior senator from Alaska. The DOJ’s misconduct in the Stevens’ case led Sullivan to enter a standing order in all criminal cases on his docket.

The most recent iteration of Sullivan’s standing entered in the Flynn case required Mueller’s office to produce “any evidence in its possession that is favorable to defendant and material either to defendant’s guilt or punishment.” The order further required the government to submit to the court any information “which is favorable to the defendant but which the government believes not to be material.”

Flynn referenced some of these materials in his sentencing memorandum, specifically the FR-302 from August 22, 2017 and a memorandum apparently written by McCabe and dated January 24, 2017—the same day as Flynn’s interview. Now Sullivan wants to see those documents and ordered Mueller by Friday afternoon “to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302.” Sullivan further ordered “the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to [Flynn’s interview.]”

What motivated Sullivan is unclear, but his experience in the Stevens’ case was a likely trigger. In that case, the government withheld 302s, didn’t include exculpatory statements in the 302s, and did not create a 302 for an interview that “didn’t go very well,” from the prosecution’s standpoint. Sullivan likely wants to assure himself that the Flynn case isn’t a copycat of the political targeting of Stevens from a decade ago.

Once the government dockets the evidence, Sullivan should be able to resolve two outstanding questions: First, what, if any, changes were made to the 302s? Second, did Strzok and his fellow FBI agent express a view on whether Flynn was lying?

Here, we return to Comey’s testimony from Friday referenced above, that “the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing.” Comey further explained, though, that his “recollection was [Flynn] was — the conclusion of the investigators was he was obviously lying, but they saw none of the normal common indicia of deception: that is, hesitancy to answer, shifting in seat, sweating, all the things that you might associate with someone who is conscious and manifesting that they are being — they’re telling falsehoods. There’s no doubt he was lying, but that those indicators weren’t there.”

The earlier version(s) of the 302s will either support or contradict Comey’s testimony. Same with McCabe’s January 24, 2017 memorandum. The latter will prove particularly interesting given the conflict between Comey’s latest testimony and that of McCabe, who served as deputy director of the FBI at the time. In an executive session of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, McCabe acknowledged “the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, . . .”

Of course, this all assumes that the special counsel’s office still has copies of the initial 302s created, which might not be the case given that when Mueller’s “pitbull,” Andrew Weissmann, led the Enron Task Force, his team, among other things, systematically destroyed draft 302s.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
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FBI’s entrapment of General Flynn was despicable

Investigators into Russian attempts to subvert American democracy grievously mistreated Gen. Michael Flynn, now convicted of perjury related to the investigation. Some of the prosecutors should themselves face professional punishment for their misbehavior.

As this site’s resident defender of special counsel Robert Mueller, I am obligated to insist that the investigators themselves uphold the same standards they would apply to others. Without excusing Flynn’s lies to investigators, a fair-minded observer can call foul on an obviously unfair, and perhaps unlawful, perjury trap.

Federal district judge Emmet Sullivan likewise seems quite perturbed by the latest information about the Flynn case. With Flynn’s sentencing imminent, Sullivan suddenly ordered prosecutors to produce any existent memoranda regarding their conduct of the interview in which Flynn lied.

And for good reason. The investigators’ treatment of Flynn, as described in a memo filed with the court by Flynn’s lawyers, looks like a textbook case of unethical entrapment.

The interview was set up directly via a phone call to Flynn from Andrew McCabe, who then was deputy director of the FBI. McCabe, by his own account, made it sound like an ordinary national-security-related briefing of the sort Flynn was accustomed to giving the FBI. Even though McCabe clearly knew that Flynn was a potential subject of investigation, he deliberately dissuaded Flynn from having attorneys present.

Moreover, when the agents arrived, they and Flynn both treated the meeting as rather informal, even “jocular,” and “the agents did not provide General Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement … before, during, or after the interview.” The agents’ decision not to so inform Flynn was made at the direct behest of McCabe because “they wanted Flynn to be relaxed.”

This is an absolute outrage.

Granted, it’s not certain that the ordinary requirement for a “ Miranda warning” were applicable in this situation because Flynn had not been detained by, nor was in the custody of, law enforcement. Yet in commonsense terms, what McCabe and his agents did was obviously entrapment. It may even have crossed the official legal line of entrapment to the effect that Flynn’s conviction might be thrown out. At first perusal, it appears to have done so.

Let’s be clear what this FBI perfidy does and doesn’t mean. First, it does not have any bearing on Mueller’s conduct of the investigation: The interview with Flynn occurred months before Mueller was appointed. And Mueller, pleased with Flynn’s cooperation, has recommended no jail time for the general. Flynn’s case is only a small part of Mueller’s overall investigation, which has been conducted “by the book” (as the expression goes). Second, it does nothing to invalidate, or make legally unusable, any other information Flynn provided Mueller’s team while cooperating. If Flynn provided evidence implicating others in misdeeds, that evidence is still good.

Third, though, this entrapment provides even more reason for McCabe himself to be investigated for wrongdoing. Again and again, it has been shown that McCabe acted not as the impartial enforcer of justice that a top FBI official should be, but rather as a partisan or ideological hack against conservatives in general or against Trump’s team in particular.

Fourth and finally, this might remove the status of “felon” from Flynn’s permanent record. A man with a distinguished military career, whose lie did not involve conduct that in itself was criminal and was less self-protective than it was a matter of political ham-handedness, perhaps merits some slack anyway. His reputation already has suffered; must his legal status also be permanently scarred?

Either way, McCabe’s behavior here appears shameful, well deserving of fierce condemnation.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/fbis-entrapment-of-general-flynn-was-despicable

Story 3: American People Demand Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Investigate The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation Handling of The Clinton Email and Clinton Foundation Investigations and Failure To Verify The Christopher Steele Dossier and Disclose It Was Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democrat National Committee to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Hannity 12/13/18 9PM | December 13, 2018 Breaking News

 

UNBELIEVABLE! Trey Gowdy Makes Huge Announcement Immediately After James Comey Does This To Him

BREAKING: After Federal Judge Issues Demand Entire Flynn Case About To COLLAPSE – Mueller Finished!

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1187, December 12, 2018, Part 2 of 2 Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos — Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos — Story 3: Back To The Free Enterprise Competitive Market Capital System — Videos —

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Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

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Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

Tucker: Trump insists GOP Congress should fund wall

Body Language: Government Shutdown Trump, Pelosi & Schumer

Migrants Continue to Breach US Border Wall

Lying Politicians And Words

Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer get in fight over border wall: full video

Trump Outsmarts Pelosi, Reveals Unstoppable Plan To Build The Wall Without Democrat Support

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/11/18 | Breaking Fox News December 11, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/11/18 | Hannity Breaking News | Fox News December 11 2018

Tucker: Schumer hated moment when Trump berated him

The Ingraham Angle 12/11/18 | Laura Ingraham Fox News Today December 11, 2018

George Carlin Politicians

George Carlin on Elections

George Carlin – Balance the Budget

George Carlin – Question Everything

Fact-checking Trump, Pelosi and Schumer’s White House fight over the border wall, shutdown

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer sparred before news cameras over the effectiveness of a southern border wall, at times fact-checking and speaking over one another.

While all three leaders said they wanted border security, there was clearly no consensus over how much money they would set aside for Trump’s barrier. Trump said he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Vice President Mike Pence was there, too, looking on from his seat between Trump and Pelosi in silence.

Here’s a recap of what was said, fact-checked and with added context.

Trump: “A lot of the wall is built.”

While there have been improvements at the border, Trump so far isn’t getting the long, contiguous wall he promised on the campaign.

“Steel bollard wall” has been built at the southern border since Trump took office. But that’s not much different from what’s been built by other administrations. During the Obama administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a memo referred to bollard barriers as “fencing.” Under Trump, these similar barriers are considered “wall.”

Bollard barriers are hollow steel beams filled with concrete and rebar. None of the Trump administration’s wall prototypes have been constructed.

CBP said construction started for 40 miles of “steel bollard wall” along border areas in California and Texas, at a cost of $292 million. About 22 miles of bollards are completed, construction of four more miles started in September, and an additional 14 miles should be finished in May 2019, CBP said.

Appropriations from Congress so far have been far less than what Trump promised. Congress authorized $1.6 billion for established designs for new and replacement fencing, like the bollard system — and not the Trump’s administration’s prototypes.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“A lot of the wall is built.”
Trump: “If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Ariz., illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.”

It’s unclear what specific construction Trump is talking about, and he did not define start and end points for measuring the effect on illegal migration. The White House did not respond to PolitiFact’s query. Here’s what we could gather from CBP announcements by region:

San Diego: CBP in June said it began replacing about 14 miles of “8-to-10 foot high scrap metal wall with an 18-to-30 foot bollard-style wall topped off with an anti-climbing plate.” In December, CBP told PolitiFact that a 14-mile San Diego project is expected to be completed in May 2019.

El Paso: CBP in September said it started construction on a new “steel bollard wall” to replace existing pedestrian fencing in El Paso. That four-mile project would be completed in late April 2019, the agency said. CBP in December also told PolitiFact that another 20-mile project in El Paso had been completed.

Tucson and Yuma: CBP in November said a contract had been awarded to build up to 32 miles of “primary pedestrian replacement wall” within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma and Tucson sectors. Construction should begin in April 2019.

Schumer: “The experts say you can do this without a wall.”

This is consistent with previous reporting by us and other outlets.

Asked which experts Schumer had in mind, his staff directed us to a January New York Times article that said the Trump administration would cut or delay funding for security measures “that officials and experts have said are more effective than building a wall along the Mexican border.”

Adam Isaacson, director for defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, told PolitiFact that the wall might not do much to bolster border security because there is already a wall at the points that are most densely populated, with the exception of southern Texas. Apprehensions are at their lowest point in decades. Most resources are instead needed at the legal ports of entry, Isaacson said.

Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies, told PolitiFact that while the vast majority of drugs are coming in through legal checkpoints or more advanced methods of catapults, drones, boats and tunnels.

“They’re not going where the wall isn’t, they’re going where the wall is, and they’re slipping right through,” Tree said.

Trump: “We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”

We rated a similar claim by Pence as Pants on Fire, and experts remain dubious of Trump’s version.

“No matter what period of time Trump is talking about, there is no evidence to support his claim,” said Alex Nowrasteh, a senior immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute. He counted fewer than 10 people who had crossed the southern border and were charged with terrorism-related crimes.

David Sterman, senior policy analyst at the New America International Security Program, said, “There are no cases that come to mind among the more than 400 people accused of jihadist terrorism crimes since 9/11 tracked by New America in which terrorists infiltrated across the southern border.”

Trump’s State Department in July 2017 reported there is “no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reported in June her department “now blocks 10 known or suspected terrorists a day from traveling to or attempting to enter the United States.”

That’s across all ports of entry by land, air and sea, not just the Mexican border.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”
Trump: “If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel. 99.9 percent effective. And our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.”

Israel has built multiple barriers along its borders with Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza Strip and West Bank. The 99-percent reduction comes from Israeli government data for the Israeli-Egyptian southern border, where there is a 143-mile fence. (See related fact-check.)

Border security experts said the fence alone was not responsible for the dramatic decrease in illegal immigration — policies also deterred illegal border crossings.

They also cautioned about comparing Israel with the United States’ southern borders. The U.S.-Mexico border is much longer than the Israel-Egypt border, terrain conditions are different and more agents would be needed to monitor the U.S. border, experts said.

Trump: “People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in … and in many cases it’s contagious.”

We have found little evidence to support this periodic Trump claim. Recently, we rated a widespread claim that “2,267 caravan invaders have tuberculosis, HIV, chickenpox and other health issues” as Mostly False, because the number of individuals with such serious diseases was far lower.

The number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in close proximity to each other does provide opportunities for diseases to spread, especially when migrants come from poor and under-vaccinated locations. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Mexican counterpart have established disease-surveillance infrastructure on the border.

However, not many outbreaks are known to have occurred at the U.S. border, with the most common ones involving scabies, an easily treatable condition similar to lice.

Two dozen medical experts spent two years investigating the health impacts of migration. In the journal the Lancet, they concluded that the harsh journey to the U.S. could increase the risk of infectious disease, especially measles and food- and water-borne diseases.

“However,” the authors wrote, “despite the commonly held view of an association between migration and spread of infectious diseases, no systematic association has been shown with many of the infectious diseases of concern.”

Thomas Fekete, the section chief for infectious diseases at the Temple University School of Medicine, told PolitiFact that claims such as Trump’s involve more fear-mongering than sound science.

Assertions like Trump’s “are just ad hominem statements that have no epidemiologic basis,” he said. “One of the only potential contagious infections that would be potentially relevant is tuberculosis. But we currently have excellent tools to diagnose TB and to deal with it both in its latent stage and its active stage, so any concern about that is highly overblown.”\

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/dec/11/fact-checking-trump-pelosi-and-schumers-public-whi/

Video shows border wall construction underway in Texas

 

Video released this week shows construction underway in El Paso, Texas, for a portion of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The video published by the El Paso Times shows construction beginning to replace existing fencing with a wall in Chihuahuita, El Paso’s oldest neighborhood.

The wall, construction for which began last Saturday, is set to run from Chihuahuita and continue east for four miles.

The 18-foot-tall steel bollard wall will replace the chain link and metal fence as part of President Trump’s executive order last year authorizing construction of his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the administration said.

The construction project is expected to be completed in late April 2019 and is estimated to cost $22 million.

https://uw-media.elpasotimes.com/embed/video/1437649002?placement=snow-embed

“El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal aliens and drug smuggling,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release last Friday.

“In fiscal year 2017, El Paso Sector apprehended 25,193 illegal aliens, seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine,” the release continued. “Additionally during that fiscal year, there were 54 assaults against El Paso Sector agents.”

The agency said it contracted West Point Contractors of Tucson, Ariz., on June 1 to build the barrier.

Trump lashed out at Congress earlier this month over a lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump tweeted. “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

On Friday, Trump signed an $854 billion spending package that funds most parts of the federal government through fiscal 2019, pushing off a deadline for a partial shutdown and a showdown over funding for his proposed border wall until December.

 

Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos —

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Published on Nov 23, 2017
Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was one of the most recognizable and influential proponents of liberty and markets in the 20th century, and the leader of the Chicago School of economics. In this video from 1999, he gives a history lesson on the 20th century and talks about the effects of intellectuals, the great depression and the 70s inflation and how they had an effect on government growth. Complete Video quoted under creative common licence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqKA…

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John Stossel – Downsizing Government

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Brexit, Immigration, and Identity Politics (Steve Davies Part 1)

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The Free Market: Understanding Milton Friedman

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What is Classical Liberalism? – Learn Liberty

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Classical Liberalism: The Decline and Triumph of Classical Liberalism (Pt. 2) – Learn Liberty

Steve Davies – Time to Revive ‘Individualism’?

Brandon Turner and Dave Rubin Talk Political Philosophy (Full Interview)

Marxism, Socialism, and Bernie Sanders (Brandon Turner Pt. 2)

Classical Liberals vs Libertarians, and Donald Trump’s Political Philosophy (Brandon Turner Pt. 3)

The Constitution, Classical Liberalism, and Libertarianism (Randy Barnett Interview)

Has Trump Crushed the Conservative Movement? (Randy Barnett Interview)

George Carlin’s Advice on Dealing with the 2016 Election

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

The Worst of Bernie Sanders

Why “Democratic” Socialism Doesn’t Work

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1185, December 10, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Stands Firm For Funding $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build The Wall or Shut Down The Government — Republicans Voters Stand Firmly Behind Trump Waiting To See 1700 Miles of New Wall– Videos — Story 2: Congress Will Never Impeach Nor Convict President Trump — Democrats Delusional — Please Try and Make Trump’s Day — Videos — Story 3: The Coming Investigation and Prosecution  of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy —  President Trump Will Demand Attorney General Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute The Criminal Plotters  Including Those in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and Obama White House –Hysteria and Panic Spreads Among The Plotters — American People Demand Justice — Videos — Story 4: The Fixer Former FBI Director James Comey Stonewalls Congress By Not Remembering Many Many Things — Selective Amnesia — Videos

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Stands Firm For Funding $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build The Wall or Shut Down The Government — Republicans Voters Stand Firmly Behind Trump — Videos —

See the source image

Trump should ‘stick to his guns’ on the wall: Matt Schlapp

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

History of the U.S. – Mexico border

US Mexico Border Wall- America’s Wall (Compilation)

President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico takes shape

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

Life in the Shadow of US-Mexico border Wall – BBC News

Contractor explains what it will take to build a border wall

US Special Forces unable to scale border wall prototypes

On the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump supporters wait for the wall

United States Mexico Border Fence, 2017

Can Trump Supporters And Immigrants See Eye To Eye?

She thinks illegal immigrants are draining the system. What about the family next door?

9 Things That COULD Happen if Trump Builds “The Wall”!

US & the Wall: Deportees in Mexico unwanted by either side after decades in the US (RT Documentary)

Meet some of Donald Trump’s Latino supporters

Risk Takers – 109 – Border Patrol Agents | FULL LENGTH | MagellanTV

 

 

 

Trump-O-Meter

Build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

Build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it

Trump-o-Meter: Build a Wall on the Mexican Border
Autoplay: On | Off
PolitiFact is tracking the promises of President Donald Trump. See them all at PolitiFact.com.

Updates

Donald Trump secures about $1.6 billion for border barriers

President Donald Trump has secured $1.57 billion for barriers along the southwest border — advancing his promise to secure the border but falling significantly short of his desired $25 billion for a wall.

“We funded the initial down payment of $1.6 billion,” Trump said March 23 after signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law. “We are going to be starting work literally on Monday on not only on some new wall, not enough, but we are working on that very quickly. But also fixing existing walls and existing acceptable fences.”

The funds, however, won’t be used to construct any of the wall prototypes standing in California near the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump toured earlier this month.

The designated funds, the bill said, “shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, (Public Law 115–31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection told PolitiFact on March 13, 2018, that the wall prototypes were still being evaluated.

The bill Trump signed specifically called for:

• $251 million for approximately 14 miles of secondary fencing along the southwest border in the San Diego sector;

• $445 million for 25 miles of primary pedestrian levee fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;

• $196 million for primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;

• $445 million for replacement of existing primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border;

• $38 million for border barrier planning and design; and

• $196 million for acquisition and deployment of border security technology

Earlier in the day, Trump threatened to veto the bill because it did not fully fund his long-promised border wall.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted.

Trump described the $1.6 billion as “a short-term funding.” The funds will be used to secure the border through fencing. It’s still unclear which wall prototype will be used for the wall, which Mexico still says it’s not paying for, despite Trump’s promise.

For now, we continue to rate Trump’s promise to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it as In the Works.

Sources:

House.gov, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018

Twitter, @realdonaldtrump tweet, March 23, 2018

Donald Trump requests Congress $18 billion for border barriers

Donald Trump supporters chanted “build the wall” at his rallies, as he promised them an impenetrable, physical, tall and beautiful wall with Mexico. Not a fence.

But since the election, Trump has said parts of the wall will actually be see-through and that the barrier could also consist of fencing. His administration also seeks taxpayer money to cover the costs, though he pledged Mexico would pay for it.

Despite his post-election remarks and comments from his own staff, Trump claims that he plans to deliver what he promised.

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water…..” he tweeted.

Trump also maintained that Mexico would pay for it — but did not offer concrete details on how or a clear timeframe — as he asked Congress for $18 billion.

“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is ‘peanuts’ compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!” Trump tweeted.

(We’ve noted that the trade deficit has nothing to do with whether the Mexican government could afford to pay the wall.)

Trump gave varying figures for the cost of the wall during the campaign, from $8 billion to $12 billion.

But The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 5 that his administration outlined to a group of senators plans requesting nearly $18 billion to build new and replacement barriers along more than 700 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border.

The administration’s document called for a barrier, referred to as a “wall system,” but officials did not specify where it would be constructed, The Wall Street Journalreported. Trump’s administration asked for $9.3 billion over the first five years and $8.7 billion over the next five years, the newspaper reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not confirm to PolitiFact the details reported by The Wall Street Journal, and the White House did not respond to requests for information.

At an immigration meeting between Trump and a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Jan. 9, Democratic Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, of Hawaii, asked Trump if it was still his position that he wanted $18 billion for a wall or there would be no deal for young immigrants who came to the United States as children and are now at risk of deportation.

“Yeah. I can build it for less, by the way,” Trump responded.

The $18 billion for the border barrier is part of a $33 billion package, which also requests $5.7 billion for towers, surveillance equipment and other technology; $1 billion for road construction and maintenance; and $8.5 billion for border security personnel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A CBP spokesman told PolitiFact officials are still testing and evaluating wall prototypes built in California.

It’s unclear if lawmakers will approve Trump’s request for border barriers. A taxpayer-funded border wall would be a departure from Trump’s repeated promises of Mexico covering the costs.

Pending appropriations and construction, Trump’s border wall promise remains In the Works.

Sources:

Email interview, U.S. Customs and Border Protection press office, Jan. 10, 2018

The Wall Street Journal, Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall, Jan. 5, 2018

The Washington Post, Trump says he will build ‘impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful’ border, Aug. 31, 2016

PolitiFact, What happened at the immigration meeting between Trump, bipartisan lawmakers, Jan. 9, 2018

CQ, Transcript: President Donald Trump and Members of Congress Deliver Remarks in Meeting on Immigration, as Released by the White House, Jan. 9, 2018

Fox News, John Kelly suggests Trump wasn’t ‘fully informed’ when he promised wall across entire border, Jan. 17, 2017

PolitiFact, How Trump plans to build, and pay for, a wall along U.S.-Mexico border, July 26, 2016

Twitter, @realdonaldtrump tweettweet, Jan. 18, 2018

The Hill, Conway: Trump ‘discovered’ there doesn’t need to be ‘physical wall’ along entire border, Jan. 11, 2018

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1397/build-wall-and-make-mexico-pay-it/

Story 2: Congress Will Never Impeach Nor Convict President Trump — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Democrats Delusional — Please Try and Make Trump’s Day — Videos

 

Tucker Carlson Tonight Fox News 12/10/18 Breaking Fox News December 10, 2018

Story 3: The Coming Investigation and Prosecution  of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy —  President Trump Will Demand Attorney General Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute The Criminal Plotters  Including Those in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and Obama White House –Hysteria and Panic Spreads Among The Plotters — American People Demand Justice — Videos

 

Sean Hannity 12/10/18 – Hannity Fox News December 10, 2018

Story 4: The Fixer Former FBI Director James Comey Stonewalls Congress By Not Remembering Many Many Things — Selective Amnesia — Videos

The Ingraham Angle 12/10/18 – Ingraham Angle Fox News December 10, 2018

 

Comey transcript released: Ex-FBI boss claims not to know, remember key details in Russia case

Former FBI Director James Comey claimed “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” in response to dozens of questions concerning key details in the Russia probe, according to a lengthy transcript released Saturday of his closed-door interview with congressional lawmakers.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., published the 235-page transcript as a part of an agreement with Comey.

The former bureau boss frustrated GOP lawmakers during Friday’s session, in large part because his lawyers urged him not to answer numerous questions. Comey is expected to return later in the month for another round, though blasted Republicans on his way out for what he called a “desperate attempt to find anything that can be used to attack the institutions of justice investigating this president.”

READ THE COMEY TRANSCRIPT

But while Comey insisted in the interview that “we never investigated the Trump campaign for political purposes,” the transcript shows he claimed ignorance or memory lapses in response to questions concerning key details and events in the Russia investigation, which some GOP lawmakers continue to claim was improperly conducted.

The transcript reveals lawmakers’ frustration with his lack of specifics.

Asked if he recalled who drafted the FBI’s “initiation document” for the July 2016 Russia investigation, Comey said, “I do not.” He again claimed not to know when asked about the involvement in that initiation of Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump texts later got him removed from the special counsel’s probe.

When asked if the FBI had any evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server, Comey gave a lengthy answer referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as to why he couldn’t answer.

“Did we have evidence in July of (2016) that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server?” Comey asked rhetorically. “I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line.”

“I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line,”

— Former FBI Director James Comey

When pressed further by Gowdy about what “factual predicate” the bureau had to launch a counterintelligence investigation, Comey again claimed that answering that question would be a “slope” that would ask him to reveal what the FBI “did or didn’t know about Russia activity” as it related to the 2016 election.

“You can’t tell us, or you won’t tell us?” Gowdy asks.

“Probably a combination of both … To the extent I recall facts developed during our investigation of Russian interference and the potential connection of Americans, I think that’s a question that the FBI doesn’t want me answering. So it’s both a can’t and a won’t,” Comey replied.

The former FBI director went on to say that anything related to Mueller’s investigation, to his understanding, would be “off limits” as it is an ongoing investigation.

Comey was also fuzzy on the eventual Democratic funding of the research that went into the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

Asked when he learned that the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, was hired by law firm Perkins Coie – and when he learned that law firm was hired by the Democratic National Committee – Comey said “I never learned that” while director.

Comey also claimed not to know key details surrounding the involvement of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the dossier.

Asked when Steele was “terminated” as an FBI source, Comey said he didn’t know.

Asked about Steele’s subsequent contact with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, Comey said, “I don’t know anything about that.”

The Comey appearance comes as Republicans try to probe deeper into the FBI’s handling of both the Russia case and Hillary Clinton email investigation, before Democrats take control of the House in January and likely shut down these lines of inquiry.

Comey was asked numerous questions as well about the handling of the Clinton case, acknowledging at times that certain aspects of it were “unusual” while defending other actions.

Comey initially challenged the subpoena to appear before the committees and instead pressed for a public hearing out of concern his comments would be selectively leaked and taken out of context. He eventually agreed to appear, with an arrangement for the transcript to be made public.

Fox News’ Bill Mears, Jake Gibson, and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/comey-transcript-released-ex-fbi-boss-claims-not-to-know-remember-key-details-in-russia-case

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The Pronk Pops Show 1184, December 7, 2018, Story 1: Special Counsel Mueller’s Prosecutors Getting Desperate For Cooperative Convicted Criminals Composing (Lying About Trump) — Conspiracy to Suborn Perjury For No Jail Time For Cooperative Convicted Criminals — Absolutely No Evidence Trump “Colluded” With Russian Government — Waste of $40 Million of Taxpayers Money —  Videos — Story 2: Department of Justice/FBI Attorney Blocked Comey From Answering Congressional Questions About FBI Clinton E-Mail Investigation and FISA Warrant Application and Renewals Thereby Stonewalling Congress — Videos — Story 3: Chief of Staff John Kelly Expected To Resign and Replaced by Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff   — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Nominates Heather Nauert as United States Ambassador to United Nations — Videos — Story 5: Federal Bureau of Investigation Should Reopen Investigation of Clinton Foundation Based on Whistle-Blower Evidence — Videos

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Story 1: Special Counsel Mueller’s Prosecutors Getting Desperate For Cooperative Convicted Criminals Composing (Lying About Trump) — Conspiracy to Suborn Perjury For No Jail Time For Cooperative Convicted Criminals — Absolutely No Evidence Trump “Colluded” With Russian Government — Waste of $40 Million of Taxpayers Money  —  Videos —

See the source imageImage result for robert mueller, donald j. Trump and michael cohenSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

752. SUBORNATION OF PERJURY

To establish a case of subornation of perjury, a prosecutor must demonstrate that perjury was committed; that the defendant procured the perjury corruptly, knowing, believing or having reason to believe it to be false testimony; and that the defendant knew, believed or had reason to believe that the perjurer had knowledge of the falsity of his or her testimony.

To secure a conviction for subornation of perjury, the perjury sought must actually have been committedUnited States v. Hairston, 46 F.3d 361, 376 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 124 (1995). The underlying perjury must be proved under the standards required by the applicable perjury statute. Thus, if section 1621 applies to the underlying perjury, the two witness rule must be met, but not if section 1623 applies to the underlying perjury. United States v. Gross, 511 F.2d 910, 915 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 924 (1975). Physical coercion need not be proven in prosecutions for subornation of perjury. United States v. Heater, 63 F.3d 311, 320 (4th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 796 (1996). Conspiracy to suborn perjury may be prosecuted irrespective of whether perjury has been committed. The two witness rule does not apply in conspiracy prosecutions. Solicitation of perjured testimony also may be prosecuted as obstruction of justice irrespective of whether the perjured testimony took place. United States v. Silverman, 745 F.2d 1386, 1395 (11th Cir. 1984).

Because the crime of subornation of perjury is distinct from that of perjury, the suborner and perjurer are not accomplices; however, a person who causes a false document to be introduced through an innocent witness can be held liable as a principal under 18 U.S.C. § 2(b). United States v. Walser, 3 F.3d 380, 388 (11th Cir. 1993).

The attorney’s ethical obligations when confronted by a client who wishes to testify falsely are discussed at length in Nix v. Whiteside, 475 U.S. 157 (1986). See also Rules 1-102, 4-101 and 7-109 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, Canons 1, 4, and 7, and Ethical Consideration 7-26.

[cited in JM 9-69.200]

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1752-subornation-perjury

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Hannity: Mueller memos have nothing on Trump

Sean Hannity 12/7/18 [FULL] | Breaking Fox

News December 7, 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight [12AM] 12/7/18 Breaking News Today December 7, 2018

Michael Cohen sentencing memo formally accuses Donald Trump of directing criminal conspiracy to a…

‘Substantial’ prison term recommended for Michael Cohen

Watch Live: Prosecutors file sentencing memo for Michael Cohen

Ex-CIA official on Mueller: Size 16 shoe is about to drop

Special counsel to reveal new details on Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort

Robert Muller suggest no jail time for Michael Flynn

Nunes reacts to new evidence of FISA abuse in FBI emails

Prosecutors demand Michael Cohen spend four to five YEARS in prison for trying to ‘influence the election from the shadows’ at the ‘direction’ of Trump – who insists report ‘totally clears’ him

  • President’s former lawyer should get 51-63 months, according to prosecutors, for a range of crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations
  • Sentencing memo from New York prosecutor says Michael Cohen coordinated with the president to pay off two women so their stories of affairs were buried
  • Says Cohen tried to ‘influence the election from the shadows’ and claims he didn’t help Special Counsel Robert Mueller enough to justify leniency
  • Mueller, though, spells out four ways Cohen was helpful and says a judge should sentence him to concurrent prison terms in two cases

A federal prosecutor told a judge on Friday that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in prison for a range of federal crimes including tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws.

He tried to ‘influence the election from the shadows,’ according to Robert Khuzami, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, by arranging payoffs to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in order to avoid October-surprise embarrassments for then-candidate Donald Trump.

Khuzami wrote that Trump was directly involved in the efforts. The president tweeted an hour after the document was filed in New York. that it ‘[t]otally clears the President. Thank you!’

Cohen has helped Special Counsel Robert Mueller with ‘information that assisted … in ongoing matters,’ according to Khuzami’s sentencing recommendation memo.

But the level of cooperation, he wrote, was too small to warrant more than token leniency. And Cohen, he revealed, made an ‘affirmative decision not to become’ a cooperating witness.

A separate memo from Mueller covering a different case in Washington, D.C. related to an aborted attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow spells out a greater level of assistance, saying it is sufficient to warrant sentences that run concurrently.

The New York sentencing recommendation tells a story of Cohen working ‘in coordination with and at the direction of’ Donald Trump – by his own admission – to arrange for the National Enquirer to buy the rights to the two women’s stories and ‘kill’ them, preventing media exposure of their claims.

David Pecker, a longtime Trump friend who was CEO of the National Enquirer’s parent company, got an immunity deal from Mueller to divulge his part in the plot.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in federal prison, according to a prosecutor's memo

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in federal prison, according to a prosecutor’s memo

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote that Cohen worked at the direction of President Donald Trump in 2016 to arrange payments to two women for the purpose of keeping their sexual affair allegations from becoming public before the election

Trump tweeted barely an hour after prosecutors filed their court statement about Cohen that it 'totally clears' him

Trump tweeted barely an hour after prosecutors filed their court statement about Cohen that it ‘totally clears’ him

Special Counsel Robery Mueller spelled out in a separate memo four ways in which Cohen has been helpful to his Russia probe

Cohen ‘coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign,’ according to the memo, ‘including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments.’

And as a result, ‘neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election.’

The president said this week in a tweet that Cohen should ‘serve a full and complete sentence.’

In Mueller’s case, filed just last month, the special counsel alleges that Cohen has admitted lying about his efforts and timing on the Trump Tower Moscow plan, and alleges that he briefed Trump about the project’s status in 2016.

Cohen told investigators that the entire projet was scrapped before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary inJanuary 2016. In fact, however, negotiations related to the proposal were going on through the time of the July Republican National Convention.

Mueller charged Cohen with a felony for lying to his investigators, but said he was truthful in six other sessions where government lawyers plied him with questions.

Mueller’s seven-page memorandum says the former Trump fixer ‘provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts.’

As one example, he cited Cohen’s willingness to discuss a November 2015 discussion with ‘a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation.’ That person, he wrote, offered to help create ‘synergy’ with Trump ‘on a government level.’

At the time, Trump was slicing his way through the Republican primary field.

Cohen told Mueller’s team that his Russian contact proposed arranging a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying ‘that such a meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well”.’

The Michael Cohen sentencing memorandum from a federal prosecutor in New York recomments 51 to 63 months in prison

The Michael Cohen sentencing memorandum from a federal prosecutor in New York recomments 51 to 63 months in prison

Felix Sater (right) is pictured with Donald Trump and Soviet-born Turkish real estate developer Tevfik Arif at the Trump Soho launch party in 2007; Sater was allegdely Michael Cohen's link to the Kremlin

That, he wrote, was a reference to the Moscow Trump Tower proposal. Cohen never followed up, and the project was never built.

Other testimony has revealed that Trump campaign advisers discussed a separate meeting between Trump and Putin in 2016, and that Cohen spoke to a Kremlin official about a possible Trump-Putin meeting after the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

There have been suggestions over the years that the two men met in Moscow during the Trump-run Miss Universe pageant in 2013, but that claim has not been substantiated.

The Russian contact who offered to be Cohen’s go-between in late 2016 is believed to be Felix Sater, a former mobster who pleaded guilty in 1998 to his involvement in a Russian Mafia-led $40 million stock fraud scheme.

Mueller also wrote that Cohen helped his office with information about ‘discrete Russia-related matters’ that he obtained ‘by virtue of his regular contact with [Trump Organization] executives during the campaign.’

And Cohen provided ‘relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period.’

Khuzami’s much longer 40-page sentencing memo in the New York case, however, downplays the level of help Cohen may have provided.

‘Cohen’s description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others,’ Khuzami wrote. ‘To be clear: Cohen does not have a cooperation agreement.’

He’s lying’ Trump bashes Michael Cohen over guilty plea
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal (left) and porn actress Stormy Daniels (right) both claimed to have slept with Donald Trump in the past, but the government says Cohen coordinated with Trump to make sure the women were paid for their silence – in effect a pair of massive campaign contributions designed to save the election for Trump

Condemning Cohen’s end-around attempt to influence the 2016 election, Khuzami wrote that ‘[w]hile many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows.’

‘He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1,’ he added, referring to President Trump.

‘Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years. He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends,’ he wrote.

‘Now he seeks extraordinary leniency – a sentence of no jail time – based principally on his rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes; his claims to a sympathetic personal history; and his provision of certain information to law enforcement.

‘But the crimes committed by Cohen were more serious than his submission allows and were marked by a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life (and was evidently hidden from the friends and family members who wrote on his behalf).’

By BENJAMIN WEISER, MAGGIE HABERMAN and MARK MAZZETTI
a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Michael Cohen, who was President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer for more than a decade, leaving federal court in Manhattan last week after a guilty plea.© Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times Michael Cohen, who was President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer for more than a decade, leaving federal court in Manhattan last week after a guilty plea.

Federal prosecutors on Friday mounted a scathing attack on Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, rejecting his request to avoid a prison term and saying that he had “repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.”

The prosecutors said Mr. Cohen deserved a “substantial” prison term that would most likely amount to roughly four years.

Mr. Cohen, 52, is to be sentenced in Manhattan next week for two separate guilty pleas: one for campaign finance violations and financial crimes charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, and the other for lying to Congress in the Russia inquiry, filed by the Office of the Special Counsel in Washington.

Prosecutors in Manhattan said the crimes Mr. Cohen had committed marked “a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life,” and though he was seeking a sentence of no jail time for providing assistance to the government, he did not deserve much leniency.

In a lengthy memo to the judge, William H. Pauley III, prosecutors wrote that Mr. Cohen was motivated by “personal greed” and had a “rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes.”

[Read the federal prosecutor’s memo ahead of Michael Cohen’s sentencing in Manhattan.]

They once again emphasized that Mr. Cohen had implicated the president in his guilty plea, writing that Mr. Cohen “played a central role” in a scheme to purchase the silence of two women who claimed to have affairs with Mr. Trump, so they would not speak publicly during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” the prosecutors wrote. “Individual-1” is how Mr. Trump is referred to in the document.

Mr. Cohen’s actions “struck a blow to one of the core goals of the federal campaign finance laws: transparency,” the prosecutors wrote, adding that he “sought to influence the election from the shadows.”

At the same time, the special counsel’s office released its own sentencing recommendation to the judge for Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea for misleading Congress.

The special counsel seemed to offer a more positive view of Mr. Cohen’s cooperation with the Russia investigation, saying he “has gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

[Read the Office of the Special Counsel’s memo.]

The special counsel’s memo revealed a new detail about Russian efforts to influence the Trump campaign. It said Mr. Cohen had told prosecutors about a meeting that appeared to be the earliest-known contact between a Russian and a campaign adviser in the months after Mr. Trump announced his bid for the presidency.

In November 2015, as discussions about a possible Trump Tower Moscow project were gaining momentum, Mr. Cohen told prosecutors he was approached by a Russian claiming to be a “‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation,” who offered “synergy on a government level” with the Trump campaign.

The individual, who was not named, pushed for a meeting between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Such a meeting, he said, could have a “‘phenomenal’ impact ‘not only in political but in a business dimension as well.’”

Mr. Cohen told the special counsel’s team that he never followed up on the invitation.

Mr. Cohen has emerged as one of the biggest threats to Mr. Trump’s presidency, providing the special counsel’s office and prosecutors in Manhattan with material in dozens of hours of interviews. Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential ties to the Trump campaign.

On Tuesday, Mr. Mueller asked a judge in Washington to impose little or no prison time on Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, saying that he had provided substantial assistance to his office’s Russia investigation. Mr. Flynn faces up to six months in prison under federal guidelines after pleading guilty to one count of lying to the F.B.I.

In the Manhattan plea in August, Mr. Cohen implicated Mr. Trump in hush-money payments to two women — Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model — to conceal affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.

On Nov. 29, Mr. Cohen entered his second plea, revealing in court that Mr. Trump had been more involved in discussions over a potential deal to build a tower in Moscow than was previously known. He also said those discussions had continued until June 2016, well after Mr. Trump had clinched the Republican nomination and only five months before the election.

Mr. Trump’s interest in building a Trump Tower Moscow led Mr. Cohen to make numerous inquiries with Russian officials and other Kremlin-linked figures about the feasibility of the project, raising the possibility that the negotiations might have given the Russians leverage over Mr. Trump when he was running for president.

In Mr. Cohen’s own sentencing memo, his lawyers disclosed that their client had consulted with White House staff members and Mr. Trump’s “legal counsel” — without identifying the lawyer — as he prepared for his false congressional testimony.

Mr. Cohen said in court that he lied “out of loyalty” to Mr. Trump and to be consistent with his “political messaging.”

Mr. Cohen’s cases have been consolidated before Judge Pauley in Manhattan.

Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester, have asked Judge Pauley to allow Mr. Cohen to avoid a prison sentence, citing his cooperation with Mr. Mueller even though he never signed a formal cooperation agreement.

They also portrayed him as a remorseful man whose life had been shattered by his relationship with Mr. Trump. They said Mr. Cohen had lost friends and professional relationships and wanted to confess his crimes, serve any sentence imposed and begin his life anew.

Under federal guidelines, Mr. Cohen faces about four to five years in the Manhattan case and up to six months in Mr. Mueller’s case. But the guidelines are not binding, and Judge Pauley will decide the final sentence.

Follow Benjamin Weiser and Maggie Haberman on Twitter: @benweisernyt and @maggieNYT.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/michael-cohen-trump%E2%80%99s-ex-fixer-should-get-prison-term-of-about-4-years-prosecutors-say/ar-BBQEjEQ

Mueller’s End Game Is Starting to Come Into View

by Nancy LeTourneau

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

According to Michael Isikoff, Donald Trump and his enablers might finally be getting their wish, because the whole Mueller probe could be coming to an end very soon.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are “tying up loose ends” in their investigation, providing the clearest clues yet that the long-running probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election may be coming to its climax, potentially in the next few weeks, according to multiple sources close to the matter.

The new information about the state of Mueller’s investigation comes during a pivotal week when the special counsel’s prosecutors are planning to file memos about three of their most high profile defendants — former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

A Flynn sentencing memo is due Tuesday, and memos about Manafort and Cohen are slated for Friday. All three documents are expected to yield significant new details on what cooperation the three of them provided to the Russia investigation.

Before getting to the important news on what all that means, let’s put to rest the idea that this has been a “long-running probe.” Keep in mind that Mueller has been investigating one of the most significant criminal allegations in this country’s history: whether or not an adversarial foreign government attempted to interfere in a presidential election, as well as a possible conspiracy with one of the candidates who went on to be president. With that in mind, the folks at FiveThirtyEight developed a helpful chart to compare both the timing and results of this probe with those of previous administrations.

If Mueller is, indeed, “tying up loose ends,” this investigation will not only be the most consequential, but the shortest in recent history.

Besides reporting that the Mueller investigation might be coming to a conclusion soon, Isikoff notes that the special counsel will be releasing reports for the sentencing hearings of Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort this week. All three have pleaded guilty to crimes in exchange for their cooperation and will soon be sentenced.

However, the special counsel has accused Manafort of violating his agreement by lying to investigators. As part of their status report, prosecutors wrote that “The government will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein.” That is the document Mueller will be filing on Friday.

There was some speculation about whether or not that document would be made public. Isikoff broke the news:

Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel, confirmed to Yahoo News on Monday that the Manafort memo “will be public,” although he added there could be some portions that are redacted or filed as a sealed addendum.

To casual observers, Robert Mueller has run a tight ship when it comes to leaks and played his cards pretty close to his vest. But there’s been an ongoing discussion among lawyers that when he has produced documents in this case, they have been what is often referred to as “speaking indictments.”

Those waiting for Mueller to issue some massive, 9/11 Commission–style report at the end of the investigation often overlook the sheer volume of detailed information Mueller has pushed into public view already. Nearly every court document he has filed has been what lawyers call a “speaking indictment,” going into deeper detail and at greater length than is strictly needed to make the case for the criminal behavior charged.

The most specific example of that is the indictment filed against the Russians.

It is unclear precisely why Mueller is using speaking indictments, but people familiar with their use suspect he wants to use them to tell the public more about what his investigation believes happened in the 2016 election.

It could also be a way for Mueller to fire warning shots at people he might want to target.

The 29-page document charging a dozen Russian intelligence officers in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee that was unveiled by the special counsel last month fits the description of a speaking indictment.

These indictments contain a high level of detail and go well beyond the constitutional requirements of laying out the essential facts of the offense charged. It also gives the defendant enough notice and specificity to mount a defense.

If Mueller uses the same strategy in the sentencing reports, this could be the way he releases many of his findings to the public without giving Trump, his lawyers or Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker the opportunity to stop him. That was the conclusion many people reached from his most recent status report on Manafort.

It is worth keeping in mind that Mueller and his team can read the news and learned about the strategy Trump and his lawyers had adopted along with the rest of us.

President Donald Trump and his lawyers have made a strategic calculation that their fight against special counsel Robert Mueller is more political than it is legal.

They’re banking that the lead Russia investigator will follow long-standing Justice Department practice that a sitting president can’t be indicted, and that the only real threat to Trump’s survival is impeachment.

So long as that theory holds, Trump’s plan is to forcefully challenge Mueller in the arena he knows best — not the courtroom but the media, with a public campaign aimed at the special counsel’s credibility, especially among Republican voters and GOP members of Congress.

If Mueller issues “speaking indictments” in his sentencing reports on three of the most influential people in Trump’s campaign—Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort—he will demonstrate that he knows how to play that game as well. Both the obstruction of justice and conspiracy case will be put out to the public and, now that Democrats control the House, will be followed up with investigations, possibly leading to impeachment.

So hold on to your hats, folks. This could be the beginning of the end game.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/12/04/muellers-end-game-is-starting-to-come-into-view/

Story 2: Department of Justice/FBI Attorney Blocked Comey From Answering Congressional Questions About FBI Clinton E-Mail Investigation and FISA Warrant Applicationand Renewal Thereby Stonewalling Congress — Videos —

Tom Fitton reacts to Comey’s closed-door testimony

Trey Gowdy on his plans going into the Comey hearing

Issa: FBI attorney blocked Comey from answering questions

BREAKING: James Comey Says Mueller Investigation Is Going Extremely Well

Gaetz shares what he learned from the Comey hearing

Comey Testifies Before Congress, Has Message For Trump

 

Ex-FBI director Comey grilled again in US Congress

Former FBI director James Comey was interviewed in a closed-door session by US lawmakers, amid mounting intrigue over the investigation into possible contacts between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia

Former FBI director James Comey was interviewed in a closed-door session by US lawmakers, amid mounting intrigue over the investigation into possible contacts between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia

Former FBI director James Comey testified before US lawmakers for the first time in over a year Friday, with much of the discussions centering on Hillary Clinton’s email use.

The closed-door grilling came amid mounting intrigue over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Moscow.

Comey had pleaded for a public hearing after he was subpoenaed by the outgoing Congress in November, but House Republicans including some of Trump’s allies insisted on a private session before the judiciary and oversight committees.

Comey was questioned as part of a Republican-led House inquiry into possible Russian interference, and Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, featured prominently.

“Hillary Clinton’s emails, for heaven’s sake,” Comey said after testifying for six hours. “I’m not sure we need to do this at all.”

Clinton had set up a private email server before becoming secretary of state in 2009.

Republicans seized on the revelation years later, saying she broke department protocol by using a private email account while a government official in order to hide sensitive correspondence.

The issue became a flashpoint of the 2016 race.

Republicans exited Friday’s session complaining that Comey lawyers shut down certain avenues of questioning.

Comey disputed that but gave a rationale for why he would not publicly discuss some elements.

“The FBI, for understandable reasons, doesn’t want me talking about the details of the investigation that is still ongoing, and began when I was FBI director,” he said.

In May 2017 Trump abruptly sacked Comey, who was the senior official leading a criminal investigation into possible collusion with Moscow.

Three months earlier the president met privately with Comey and urged him to end the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, a move that many Democrats interpreted as obstruction of justice.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt,” and on Friday unleashed a Twitter tirade against Mueller, Comey and other current and former officials tied to the Russia probe.

“Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest,” Trump tweeted.

Comey said a testimony transcript will be published 24 hours after his interview. Republicans want him to return for further testimony in two weeks, a final effort to advance their probe.

House control shifts to Democrats in January, and incoming Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said he would shut down the probe into FBI behavior because it was merely an effort to “cast aspersion on the real investigation, which is Mueller.

Story 3: Chief of Staff John Kelly Expected To Resign and Replaced by Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff — Videos

See the source imageSee the source image

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is ‘expected’ to resign as soon as TODAY after Trump completely stopped speaking to him – and Pence chief of staff will replace him

  • Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly is ‘expected’ to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday
  • His presumed replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence
  • Ayers is a 36-year-old political wunderkind; Kelly is a 68-year-old decorated vet
  • Trump and Kelly are no longer on speaking terms
  • President has been telling aides to reach out to Ayers if they need things  
  • Friday White House senior staff dinner was to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials, but news leaked first to CNN

White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days.

Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly, a decorated Marine Corps general brought in last year, is ‘expected’ to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday.

His expected replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

A source familiar with the situation told DailyMail.com on Friday morning that a dinner at the White House in the evening for senior staff was supposed to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials.

‘They were trying to give John the out he deserved for his service to the country. That was the plan,’ the person said.
White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days
White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days
The president is no longer on speaking terms with Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general

The president is no longer on speaking terms with Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general

Now, that timeline has likely been expedited —Trump could make the announcement as soon as Friday.

The news comes as CNN reported that Kelly is no longer on speaking terms with President Donald Trump.

The decorated veteran participated in a handful of Oval Office meetings on Thursday, a source told DailyMail.com on Friday, adding that he and Trump didn’t interact before or afterward.

Trump and Kelly ‘know that they are 17 months into what has been a very tumultuous relationship. It is no longer seen as sustainable by either party,’ CNN reported Friday morning.

‘Their relationship has deteriorated so much in the last couple weeks, where John Kelly’s job security has essentially been seen as permanently in danger.’

The Daily Caller, a favored Trump news outlet, reported Friday that an unnamed source had said the idea of an impending Kelly resignation was ‘absolutely untrue,’ and that the chief of staff had merely taken a day off.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Ayers is the president's choice to succeed him

The website’s editorial director, Vince Coglianese, is the son of U.S. Marine Corps Major General Vincent A. Coglianese, who is in charge of Marine Corps Installations Command.

Another source told DailyMail.com that the dinner on Friday night would be hosted in the White House residence by the president and first lady. The person said that it is a holiday party for staff, just like the one the first couple hosted last Christmas.

It was not described on the president’s daily guidance as a holiday party. The closed-press event was listed as a ‘dinner’ with senior White House staff.

Axios also reported Friday what administration insiders have said for weeks: Ayers will likely take over for Kelly whenever he leaves.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Ayers is the president’s choice to succeed him.

The president has been telling people for the past several days to call Ayers if they have a request. The directive has spread so far that senior aides are no longer regarding Ayers’ ascension as a secret, an insider said on Friday morning.

‘John wanted to stay, but he has a broken relationship with the president, so bad you just can’t keep him,’ the person told DailyMail.com of the president’s claims this fall that Kelly was staying.

Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed

Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed.

The two men discussed a commitment at the time for Kelly to agree to run the West Wing until 2024 if Trump were to win a second term.

Since then Trump has backtracked, arguing at a post-election news conference that people leave and it can’t be helped.

‘As we make changes, we’ll sit down and talk to you about it. I mean, there’s no great secret. A lot of administrations make changes after midterms. I will say that, for the most part, I’m very, very happy with this Cabinet. We’re doing a great job,’ the president said.

Pressed to confirm that Kelly is staying, Trump said, ‘People leave. I haven’t heard about John Kelly. But, no, people — people leave. They come in, they’re here. It’s a very exhausting job.’

He went further in a ‘Fox News Sunday’ interview later in the month, in which he admitted: ‘There are certain things that I don’t like that he does.’

‘There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault. It’s not his strength,’ he asserted.

Trump said at ‘some point’ the retired marine general ‘is going to want to move on.’ He maintained that it is possible that Kelly would stay through 2020 but backed off the initial pledge that

Kelly jokes about White House move: ‘God is punishing me’

He had insisted in October, as the White House attempted to project confidence in advance of the mid-terms, that he was not going to ditch Kelly for Ayers or other rumored candidates for the job.

Trump brought a New York Magazine reporter into the Oval Office for a parade of denials that ended with Kelly and Ayers giving each other a bear hug.

Since the election, the relationship between Trump and Kelly has apparently soured.

In a hint that Kelly was on his way out, deputy chief of staff Zachary Fuentes, started putting out feelers for a new job, Politico reported this week, circulating his resume to the Department of Defense and other Cabinet agencies.

Kelly has clashed with top Trump advisers inside and outside the White House, getting into West Wing screaming matches with the national security adviser and others.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6471487/White-House-Chief-Staff-John-Kelly-expected-RESIGN-soon-Trump-stopped-speaking-him.html

Story 4: President Trump Nominates Heather Nauert as United States Ambassador to United Nations — Videos

Trump confirms he’s nominated Bill Barr for AG, Heather Nauert U.N. Ambassador

Trump names William Barr as Attorney General, Heather Nauert as UN ambassador

[youtub3e=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqCwAmZyXJo]

Donald Trump Nominates State Dept. Spokesperson Heather Nauert As UN Ambassador | NBC Nightly News

Trump to pick Heather Nauert as next UN ambassador

Heather Nauert reportedly offered UN Ambassador job

Trump picks ‘very smart, very quick’ State Department spokeswoman and former Fox anchor Heather Nauert to replace Haley as UN ambassador – but the position will be downgraded

  • President Trump named State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the next ambassador to the United Nations 
  • Nikki Haley has held the position since the beginning of the Trump administration and will finish out the year
  • Nauert, whose nomination will require Senate confirmation, is a former Fox News Channel correspondent and anchor
  • She was shocked when she learned she would go from press flack to diplomat and recommended a colleague for the job instead before accepting
  • Position was Cabinet-level for Haley but will be downgraded for Nauert 

President Donald Trump named State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the ambassador to the United Nations on Friday.

He told reporters at the White House that she is ‘very talented, very smart, very quick. And I think she’s going to be respected by all.’

The president said Nauert is ‘somebody that we know very well’ and ‘has done a great job’ as the State Department’s press secretary.

Nikki Haley has held the UN post since the beginning of Trump’s administration and said she would stay in the job through the end of the year.

Nauert will not enjoy nearly as much power as Haley, however, with a source confirming that the position is being downgraded. It will no longer be a Cabinet-level post.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert (left), pictured on October 18 with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be a top diplomat in 2019 as she becomes the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert (left), pictured on October 18 with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be a top diplomat in 2019 as she becomes the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Nauert (left) was a Fox News reporter and anchor before entering the Trump administration

Nauert (left) was a Fox News reporter and anchor before entering the Trump administration

Trump told reporters on Friday that he had made up his mind about the ''very talented, very smart, very quick' Nauert

Nauert must win the approval of the U.S. Senate, even so. The post is still an ambassadorship, and that requires Senate confirmation.

Republicans will hold a majority of seats in the upper chamber – 53 – after January all but assuring that Nauert will win the appointment.

She said early Friday in a tweet that she is ‘humbled’ by the promotion to UN ambassador.

‘Thank you, Mr. President, for your confidence in me. I am humbled by your intent to nominate me as USUN Ambassador and, if confirmed, look forward to continuing the outstanding job Amb. Haley has done representing your Administration and the American people,’ she said in her statement.

Nauert is a former Fox News Channel correspondent and anchor who has no prior political or policy-making experience.

Before becoming the front-runner for the United Nations post, she had been a rumored contender for White House press secretary.

She became the State Department spokeswoman in April 2017, and earlier this year was named the acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6471935/Trump-picks-smart-quick-Heather-Nauert-replace-Nikki-Haley-ambassador.html

 

Story 5: Federal Bureau of Investigation Should Reopen Investigation of Clinton Foundation Based on Whistle-Blower Evidence — Videos

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/7/18 [FULL] | Breaking Fox News December 7, 2018

Report: FBI raids home of Clinton Foundation whistleblower

Did John Huber ignore complaints from Clinton whistleblowers?

 

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Feds received whistleblower evidence in 2017 alleging Clinton Foundation wrongdoing

When a House subcommittee chairman bangs his gavel next week to convene an unprecedented investigative hearing into the Clinton Foundation, two questions will linger as preeminent: Is the Clinton family charity really the international do-gooder that earned a perfect four-star rating from Charity Navigator, or does it suffer from corruption and illegalities as conservatives allege? And if it is the latter, how much evidence of wrongdoing does the government possess?

The answer to the first question is that the foundation and its projects reported collecting about $2.5 billion to help global crises, from AIDS to earthquakes, even as its own auditors, lawyers and employees privately warned of problems over the years.

The answer to the second question may reside in 6,000 pages of evidence attached to a whistleblower submission filed secretly more than a year ago with the IRS and FBI.

That evidence was assembled by a private firm called MDA Analytics LLC, run by accomplished ex-federal criminal investigators, who alleged the Clinton Foundation engaged in illegal activities and may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties.

In addition to the IRS, the firm’s partners have had contact with prosecutors in the main Justice Department in Washington and FBI agents in Little Rock, Ark. And last week, a federal prosecutor suddenly asked for documents from their private investigation.

The 48-page submission, dated Aug. 11, 2017, supports its claims with 95 exhibits, including internal legal reviews that the foundation conducted on itself in 2008 and 2011.

Those reviews flagged serious concerns about legal compliance, improper commingling of personal and charity business and “quid pro quo” promises made to donors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.

The submission also cites an interview its investigators conducted with Andrew Kessel that quotes the foundation’s longtime chief financial officer as saying he was unable to stop former President Clinton from “commingling” personal business and charitable activities inside the foundation and that he “knows where all the bodies are buried.”

“There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose,” MDA Analytics alleged in its submission. “The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties. The tax rules, codes, statutes and the rule of law should and must be applied in this case.”

Current and former Clinton Foundation sources confirm that CFO Kessel met with MDA investigators in late 2016 and subsequently was interviewed by FBI agents in 2017. But they insist he did not implicate former President Clinton or the foundation in any illegality.

They also acknowledge that the internal reviews cited in the submission were authentic and did in fact flag issues that the foundation has tried to address, including major governance changes made public in 2013.

“The Clinton Foundation has been one of the most heavily scrutinized charitable organizations in the world, and subjected to outrageous, politically motivated allegations that have been proven false time and time again,” the foundation said in a statement. “Critics continue to resurrect these false claims to try to damage the reputation of the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation. The fact is, the Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world, while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process.”

MDA’s partners include experts whose work ranged from compliance by private Wall Street firms to Drug Enforcement Administration money-laundering investigations, terrorism-financing probes and U.S. attorney prosecutions. They specifically created the firm to investigate 501c3 charities. The firm wasn’t hired by clients but, rather, conducted its research on the Clinton Foundation at its own expense with the hope that its whistleblower submission might result in a government reward if the IRS substantiated wrongdoing and recovered tax dollars.

The IRS sent multiple letters in 2017 and 2018 to MDA Analytics, confirming it had received the submission and it was “still open and under active investigation.” But, shortly before last month’s election, the agency sent a preliminary denial letter indicating it did not pursue the allegations for reasons that ranged from a lack of resources to possible expiration of the statute of limitations on some allegations.

I asked a half-dozen former federal investigators to review the submission and key evidence; all said the firm’s analysis of tax-exempt compliance issues would not be that useful to federal agencies that have their own legal experts for that. But they stressed the evidence of potential criminality was strong and warranted opening an FBI or IRS probe.

“It is a very good roadmap for investigation,” said retired FBI supervisory agent Jeffrey Danik, a prior practicing certified public accountant who helped the bureau make some of its most complex financial fraud and terrorism cases during a 29-year career.

“When you have the organization’s own lawyers using words like ‘quid pro quo,’ ‘conflicts of interest’ and ‘whistleblower protections,’ you have enough to get permission to start interviewing and asking questions,” he said.

Danik said the only investigative challenge is that some documents assembled by the private investigators are marked as attorney-client privileged and federal agents might need special permission to use them.

“Given that [special counsel Robert] Mueller got the OK to investigate Michael Cohen and his attorney-client communications with President Trump, I imagine that hurdle could be overcome under the crime-fraud exception,” he said.

The whistleblower submission’s public emergence comes at a sensitive time, as President Trump has taken to Twitter in recent months to decry a lack of action by his Justice Department against the Clintons.

And a GOP-led congressional subcommittee, led by Rep. Mark Meadows(N.C.), is planning to hold a hearing next week to review the work of John Huber, the special U.S attorney named a year ago to investigate all things Clinton.

That hearing is designed to determine how much money and resources Huber has dedicated to the investigation and whether any action might be expected on issues that long have concerned conservatives, including Hillary Clinton’s transmission of classified information over an insecure private email server and the foundation’s activities.

A prosecutor working for Huber called MDA Analytics last week, seeking copies of their evidence, according to sources. The firm told the prosecutor that the FBI has possessed the evidence in its Little Rock office since early 2018, the sources said.

Some evidence that MDA investigators cited is public source, such as internal foundation reviews hacked in 2016 and given to WikiLeaks. Other materials were provided to the investigators by foreign governments that have done business with the charity, or by foundation insiders.

One of the nonpublic documents is an interview memo the MDA Analytics investigators penned after meeting with Kessel in late November 2016 at the Princeton Club in New York City.

Kessel told those investigators that “one of the biggest problems was Mr. Clinton’s commingling and use of business and donated funds and his personal expenses,” according to the whistleblower submission.

“There is no controlling Bill Clinton. He does whatever he wants and runs up incredible expenses with foundation funds,” states a separate interview memo attached to the submission.

“Bill Clinton mixes and matches his personal business with that of the foundation. Many people within the foundation have tried to caution him about this but he does not listen, and there really is no talking to him,” the memo added.

The memo also claims Kessel confirmed to the private investigators that private lawyers reviewed the foundation’s practices — once in 2008 and the other in 2011 — and each found widespread problems with governance, accounting and conflicts of interest.

“I have addressed it before and, let me tell you, I know where all the bodies are buried in this place,” the memo alleges Kessel said.

Foundation officials confirm Kessel attended the meeting but declined to describe what was discussed, except to say Kessel “strongly denies that he said or suggested that the Clinton Foundation or President Clinton engaged in inappropriate or illegal activities.”

“Mr. Kessel believed he was meeting an old professional acquaintance who was looking for business from the Foundation,” the foundation said in a statement.

MDA Analytics said it stands by the information it submitted to the IRS and can prove its accuracy.

The comments attributed to Kessel track closely to statements employees and executives of the foundation made during the 2008 and 2011 internal legal reviews.

For example, the 2008 review written by a private lawyer named Kumiki Gibson, who was hired by the foundation to study its governance, directly flagged concerns about improper commingling of charitable and private business.

“The work of the Foundation and the President are intertwined in a way that creates confusion at, and undermines the work of, the Foundation at virtually every level,” Gibson wrote, warning that such commingling poses “reputational and legal challenges, and with confusion, inefficiencies and waste.”

Specifically, the memo warned the foundation had not created policies and procedures “required by law” and that some of its leaders “appear to have interests that do not always align with those of the Foundation.”

It also raised the possibility of illegal activities, saying the foundation and its managers held an “anti-compliance attitude” and that there were lower-level employees who “begged” for whistleblower protections after witnessing “less than fully compliant behavior or even worse are asked to participate in or condone it.”

The 2011 review conducted by the law firm Simpson Thacher raised similar concerns about legal compliance and noted that auditors in 2009 and 2010 had found “material weaknesses,” such as a lack of governing board meetings and unsigned board minutes.

That report alleged some foundation workers “abuse expense privileges” and others suffered conflicts of interest, especially as the foundation solicited large donations from countries with business interests before Hillary Clinton at the State Department. “It appears conflicts are not timely disclosed” and “when staff becomes aware of conflicts they are unsure how to raise and clear these conflicts,” the report warned.

The report even raised the possibility that donors were expecting favors at State or from the former president’s government connections in return for money.

“Some interviewees reported conflicts of those raising funds or donors, some of whom may have an expectation of quid pro quo benefits in return for gifts,” the lawyers warned.

The whistleblower submission cited many of the same concerns as the internal legal reviews, but also alleged that evidence from foreign governments showed that some charity transactions were commercial in nature and therefore should have been taxed.

The evidence amassed by the private investigators should give Congress plenty to explore at its hearing next week, and put the Trump Justice Department on the spot to answer what it has done to address concerns that the foundation’s lawyers raised and the private investigators uncovered.

Quid pro quo donations, a culture of noncompliance, travel abuses and commingling of personal with charitable business are serious issues, especially when Americans trusted the Clinton Foundation to spend $2.5 billion tax free in the name of charity.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/420131-feds-received-whistleblower-evidence-in-2017-alleging-clinton-foundation

THREE whistleblowers hand over hundreds of documents ‘showing the Clinton Foundation misused funds and made quid-pro-quo promises to donors about access to Hillary’

  • Mark Meadows, who is involved in a probe into the Clinton Foundation, says three people have come forward with hundreds of pages of potential evidence 
  • Says they hint at a misuse of funds and quid-pro-quo promises made to donors
  • It was also revealed that another whistleblower gave 6,000 pages to the FBI 
  • Investigative hearing will take place in the House of Representatives next week 

Three whistleblowers have come forward with hundreds of pages of evidence suggesting wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation, a Republican congressman says.

Mark Meadows, head of the House Oversight Subcommittee, said the documents suggest misappropriation of funds and quid-pro-quo promises made to donors during Hillary’s time as secretary of state.

Meadows spoke to Fox News about the documents ahead of an investigative hearing on the Clinton Foundation which is due to take place next week.

Three whistleblowers have handed over hundreds of pages of documents which could indicate misuse of funds and promises made to donors while Hillary was Secretary of State (file image)

The hearing will review evidence collected by U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was tasked with investigating the Foundation by ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

It comes after The Hill reported that 6,000 pages of evidence on the Clinton Foundation was secretly handed to the FBI and IRS last year.

The papers allege that the Foundation engaged in illegal activities and may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties.

The documents also showed commingling of personal and Foundation affairs, especially by former President Bill Clinton, according to The Hill.

The evidence was compiled by a firm called MDA Analytics LLC and included a submission by another whistleblower. 

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said at the time: ‘The Clinton Foundation has been one of the most heavily scrutinized charitable organizations in the world, and subjected to outrageous, politically motivated allegations that have been proven false time and time again.

‘Critics continue to resurrect these false claims to try to damage the reputation of the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation.

Mark Meadows, head of the House Oversight Subcommittee, spoke out about the documents ahead of a hearing into the Foundation which is due to take place next week

‘The fact is, the Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world, while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process.’

Meadows has previously raised questions about a large drop in funds donated to the Foundation after Hillary lost her 2016 presidential race to Donald Trump.

Donations fell from $63 million in 2016 to $27 million in 2017.

He said: ‘The remarkable significance of the drop in Clinton foundation donations raises grave concerns their operations were not above board as the American people have been led to believe.

‘Whenever we look at the possibility of ‘pay to play’ by government officials, current or former, it demands answers–and anyone who uses public office to sell access for their own financial benefit must be held accountable.’

Meadows is a close ally of Donald Trump who has called for investigations into his former Democrat opponent.

The Clinton Foundation defended itself against the allegations, saying the fall in donations was due to the Clinton Global Initiative shutting down.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6470709/Whistleblowers-hand-hundreds-documents-Clinton-Foundation-wrongdoing.html

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/6/18 Breaking Fox News December 6, 2018

Hannity 12/06/18 1AM | December 06, 2018 Breaking News

FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent.

We now know the FBI used an article from Yahoo News as independent corroboration for the Steele dossier when, in fact, Steele had talked to the news outlet.

If the FBI knew Steele had that media contact before it submitted the article, it likely would be guilty of circular intelligence reporting, a forbidden tactic in which two pieces of evidence are portrayed as independent corroboration when, in fact, they originated from the same source.

These issues are why the FBI email chain, kept from most members of Congress for the past two years, suddenly landed on the declassification list.

The addition to the list also comes at a sensitive time, as House Republicans prepare on Friday to question Comey, who signed off on the FISA warrant while remaining an outlier in the intelligence community about the Steele dossier.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers now want to question Comey about whether the information in the October email string contributed to the former FBI director’s assessment.

The question long has lingered about when the doubts inside the FBI first surfaced about the allegations in the Steele dossier.

Sources tell me the email chain provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.

Sources say the specifics of the email chain remain classified, but its general sentiments about the Steele dossier and the media contacts have been discussed in nonclassified settings.

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one knowledgeable source told me.

Congressional investigators also have growing evidence that some evidence inserted into the fourth and final application for the FISA — a document signed by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was suspect.

Nunes hinted as much himself in comments he made on Sean Hannity’s Fox News TV show on Nov. 20, when he disclosed the FBI email string was added to the declassification request. The release of the documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign” and verify that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the election, Nunes said.

As more of the secret evidence used to justify the Russia probe becomes public, an increasingly dark portrait of the FBI’s conduct emerges.

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein likely hold the answers, as do the still-classified documents. It’s time all three be put under a public microscope.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

 

FBI Knew Steele Dossier Was Bogus Before Using In FISA Application: Solomon

A string of emails quietly requested by House Republicans for declassification by President Trump may be the smoking gun that the FBI and DOJ committed egregious abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The email exchanges – kept from Congressional investigators for over two years, “included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division,” according to the report – and took place in early to mid-October of 2016, prior to the FBI successfully securing a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured. –The Hill

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Two weeks after the FBI secured the FISA warrant using the Steele Dossier, Steele was fired by the FBI on November 1, 2016 for inappropriate communications with the news media.

Also withheld from both Congress and the general public until months later is the fact that Steele had been paid by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Moreover, Steele absolutely hated Donald Trump.

And as Solomon notes; “If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.”

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent. –The Hill

The FBI, however, went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.

“Not withstanding Source1’s reason for conducting the research into Candidate1’s ties to Russia, based on Source1’s previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source 1s reporting herein to be credible

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

On top of that, Bill Priestap told Congress that corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” when FISAs were being granted. An FBI unit found dossier was only “minimally” corroborated.

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Of course, none of this mattered to the FBI – which painted Carter Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant.In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.

It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

ALERT: The declassified FBI warrant application attests to secret FISA court that “THE FBI LEARNED that Page met with at least two Russian officials during the trip,”as if FBI learned this independently,when in fact it’s clear it relied on Clinton-paid dossier for the information

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

FBI represented to a federal judge that investigators knew for certain that Carter Page met w/ Igor Sechin and Diveykin. Except, the FISA app acknowledges this intel came from Steele dossier. And FBI has acknowledged dossier was not verifieid. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/21/doj-release-carter-page-fisa/ 

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Another approach used to beef up the FISA application’s curb appeal was circular evidence, via the inclusion of a letter from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to former FBI Director James Comey, citing information Reid got from John Brennan, which was in turn from the Clinton-funded dossier.

Meanwhile – current and former members of the US intelligence community continue to hinge their theories of Trump-Russia collusion on the Steele Dossier, despite Comey admitting that it was “salacious” and “unverified” during sworn testimony.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation. –The Hill

Congressional investigators now want to question Comey about the October email string and whether it contributed to his assessment. According to Solomon, the newly requested email chain “provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.”

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one source told Solomon.

What’s more, House GOP investigators now have a growing pile of evidence that some of the information inserted into a fourth and final application for the FISA – signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was suspect – as evidence by hints by House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Fox News‘s Sean Hannity TV show November 20. Nunes said that the declassification of the requested documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign.”

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

No wonder Comey wanted a public testimony – where he wouldn’t have to discuss any of this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/fbi-knew-steele-dossier-was-bogus-using-fisa-application-solomon

Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

This list includes Dennis Kucinich and investigative journalists.In 2011, Dennis Kucinich was still a Democratic congressman from Ohio. But he was not walking in lockstep with President Obama — at least not on Libya. True to his anti-war leanings, Kucinich was a staunch opponent of Obama’s unauthorized war against the Qaddafi regime.

Kucinich’s very public efforts included trying to broker negotiations between the administration and the Qaddafi regime, to whom the White House was turning a deaf ear. It was in that context that he took a call in his Washington office from Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the ruler’s son and confidant. Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.

To be sure, it is not a solid case. Kucinich is now a commentator at Fox News, on whose website he explains his side of the story, and on whose programming ardently pro-Trump contributors are a staple — including contributors who have been sympathetic to the new president’s claim that he was monitored by his predecessor. The gist of Kucinich’s piece is to “vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur.” The express point is to counter the ridicule heaped on Trump’s claim that he personally was wiretapped at Trump Tower.

As we’ve repeatedly noted (see, e.g., herehere, and here), there is no known support for Trump’s narrow claim (made in a series of March 4 tweets). Yet, there is now overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.

The answer is no.

In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.

But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?

At her website, Sharyl Attkisson provides a very useful “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline” — with “surveillance” broadly construed to encompass many varieties of government power to collect and coerce the production of information. Attkisson notes, for example:

‐The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a politicized initiative that stymied the groups’ ability to contest Obama’s reelection in 2012.

‐The administration’s targeting of journalists, including (a) attorney general Eric Holder’s approval of the seizure of personal and business phone records of Associated Press reporters en masse (i.e., not a particularized search targeting a specific journalist suspected of wrongdoing); and (b) Holder’s approval of a warrant targeting the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation — based on an application in which the government represented to a federal court that the journalist could be guilty of a felony violation of the Espionage Act in connection with a leak of classified information (in addition to purportedly being a “flight risk”).

‐The administration’s 2011 loosening of minimization procedures to enable more-liberal scrutiny of communications of American citizens incidentally swept up in foreign-intelligence gathering

‐The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report.

‐The investigation of Trump associate Carter Page, including a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant based on the claim that Page was a Russian agent, which would have authorized monitoring of Page’s communications — including any with Trump, then the Republican nominee for president.

‐The criminal leaking to the media of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

‐The “unmasking” of identities of Americans (connected to Trump) at the behest of Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice, a White House staffer and Obama confidant.

Ms. Attkisson also has her own story to tell. Formerly at CBS News, she was one of the few journalists at mainstream outlets who aggressively reported on the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi massacre. In the latter, we recall, Rice and other Obama officials falsely told the public that the attack, which resulted in the killing of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, grew out of spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video (rather than being a coordinated jihadist strike). The Obama administration later used its criminal-prosecution authority to trump up a case against its chosen scapegoat: the video producer.

Attkisson’s reporting prompted internal administration complaints that she was “out of control.”

As a tale of political spying intrigue, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal?

Based on examinations by two forensic experts, Attkisson and CBS eventually reported that her personal and work computers were “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions.” Was this “unknown party” the government? The experts say it was a highly advanced intruder, which “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity.” Moreover, one computer was infiltrated remotely by the use of “new spy software proprietary to a federal agency.”

It is a good bet that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of Qaddafi’s son and other regime figures in 2011. If so, it is likely that then-congressman Kucinich was lawfully intercepted “incidentally.” It is also entirely possible, however, that the Libyans themselves were recording their conversations with prominent Americans and that the Kucinich–Qaddafi call was found after the regime fell.

The Washington Times reporters did not reveal to Kucinich how they had gotten the tape, but the paper’s related stories had referred to “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” Moreover, if the Obama administration had been behind a vindictive leak against Kucinich, one might have expected the leak to have happened in 2011, during Kucinich’s prominent opposition to the Libya war, rather than four years later, when the regime had long been toppled and Kucinich had retired from Congress.

On the other hand, Kucinich recounts that the recording is very clear on both ends (one might expect a Libyan recording would be distinctly clearer on the Libyan end). The Washington Timesalso does not seem the most natural destination for a secret disclosure from Libya. Furthermore, Kucinich explains, he made routine FOIA requests regarding information pertinent to him before leaving Congress in 2012. Although he did not learn of the recording until 2015, these FOIA requests would have covered his communication with Qaddafi, he adds. Kucinich says that some of the intelligence agencies have failed to respond.

On its own, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling — not as a tale of political spying intrigue. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal? The measures taken to make “incidental” monitoring of Americans easier, its fruits far more widely disseminated and, inevitably, criminally leaked? The shocking abuse of IRS processes to collect information on, and procedurally persecute, Barack Obama’s political adversaries? Fast and Furious — the use of government police powers to create a political anti-gun narrative, then the contemptuous cover-up when it went horribly wrong, resulting in a Border Patrol officer’s death? The scandalous Benghazi cover-up — including a bogus prosecution of a pathetic video producer to help prop up the fraud? The monitoring of Trump associates and members of his campaign and transition staffs — the unmasking, the intentional wide dissemination of raw intelligence, the willful felony publication of classified information?

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election. And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/barack-obama-spying-journalists-dennis-kucinich-sharyl-attkisson-donald-trump-campaign-transition/

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.

he controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws.

Many have dismissed President Trump’s accusations as the unsubstantiated ramblings of a Twitter addict with little understanding of how our intelligence laws work. These may be fair criticisms—today the president cannot simply order the intelligence agencies to wiretap his domestic political opponents. But many of our surveillance authorities have been interpreted so broadly that they put vast amounts of Americans’ data easily within the president’s reach. Without significant reform, exploiting this immense pool of data may one day prove irresistible. Thus, whether President Trump’s accusations are true or not, the potential for White House officials to abuse our spying laws for political purposes is real.

It is important to remember that surveilling political opponents in the name of security is something of an American pastime. In the 1960s, the FBI targeted political activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., claiming they posed “national security” threats. Cesar Chavez, the prominent labor and civil-rights activist, was similarly tracked for years because of his supposed communist ties.

In response to many of these types of abuses, Congress created the Church Committee to investigate surveillance practices. The widespread crimes and abuse they uncovered led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. But recent disclosures demonstrate that the law did not go far enough. Moreover, passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and other laws have undercut the protections in FISA, further opening the door to biased, unjustified, or politically motivated spying. There are jarringly few protections against these abuses.

The result: if the president wanted to surveil his critics, he could exploit at least three national security authorities.

Section 702 of FISA

Section 702 of FISA was passed at the request of the Bush administration and extended at the request of the Obama administration with bipartisan support. Now the Trump administration is reportedly pushing for reauthorization of this law when it is set to expire in 2017, with the nominee for the director of national intelligence calling it the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community. FBI Director Comey once again defended the controversial program.

While Section 702 was passed to protect against international terrorism, its tentacles reach much farther. Under the law, the government collects emails and phone calls—without a warrant—of nearly 100,000 foreign “targets.” These include their conversations with people in the United States. These targets can include journalists, human-rights workers, and other individuals who have no connection to terrorism or criminal activity, and whose only offense may be discussing information related to “foreign affairs”—a nebulous term.

Over 250 million internet communications alone are collected under Section 702 annually. While the government refuses to disclose how many Americans have been swept up in this dragnet, analysis of leaked documents suggests that at least half those communications contain information about a U.S. citizen or resident. If that’s accurate, the Trump administration will collect over 125 million internet communications that contain information about someone in the United States. Given that much of the data collected under Section 702 is stored for five years or longer, it means the government likely has access to hundreds of millions of stored emails and phone calls.

Once collected, the government asserts that they can mine this information to scrutinize the activities of Americans—opening the door to political abuse. For example, if the intelligence agencies under President Obama had wanted to search through Section 702 data for information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the argument that McConnell might possess information about “foreign affairs,” no technological barrier or explicit provision in Section 702 would have stopped them. Under current procedures, no court would have needed to approve this and Senator McConnell would not need to be notified that he had been the subject of such a search.

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, this information could then be used as the basis for a criminal prosecution, criminal investigation, civil action, or additional surveillance.

Executive Order (EO) 12333

Under Executive Order 12333, the government engages in the bulk collection of communications and data—with no approval from a court or any other independent judicial body. This surveillance primarily takes place abroad. While the government is not supposed to target Americans under EO 12333, this spying likely results in the collection of information of millions of Americans. We know, for example, that the government reportedly relied on EO 12333 to steal data transmitted between certain Yahoo and Google data centers; to capture the content of all phone calls to, from, and within the Bahamas and other countries; and to collect millions of text messages from individuals around the world.

Under EO 12333, the government can target foreigners for “foreign intelligence” purposes, which, similar to Section 702, is a category so broad that it easily encompasses individuals who have no nexus to a national-security threat. As a result of recent NSA procedures, agencies across the federal government now have the right to request access to the raw information collected under EO 12333, which can contain the information of both Americans and foreigners.

While NSA officials have said there are procedures that limit the ability of the NSA to search through electronic surveillance captured under EO 12333 for information about Americans, those procedures are largely secret and can be modified purely at the discretion of the president. Moreover, the government has taken the position that information collected under the executive order can be used to prosecute Americans for certain ordinary domestic crimes—even though it was collected without a warrant.

In practice, this means that if the president decided to unilaterally change EO 12333 procedures to allow him to search for information for purposes unrelated to national security, he would have broad latitude to do so under the government’s current legal interpretations. In addition, it means that if the government stumbles across information related to these individuals in the trove of data they collect, they may assert the right to use it as the basis to prosecute or further investigate these individuals, without ever notifying them. This creates a bizarre incentive for any ill-intentioned president: the more information collected under EO 12333 in the name of security, the more information that can be mined for other purposes.

“Traditional” FISA

Although FISA was passed with the admirable goal of halting many of the surveillance abuses of the 1960s, this statutory scheme is not nearly as protective as a warrant. Specifically, unlike an ordinary warrant or wiretapping order, a traditional FISA order does not require the government to believe that its spying will produce evidence of a crime, and the secrecy surrounding the FISA court undermines effective oversight. For these reasons, the ACLU has long cautioned that FISA authorities are prone to abuse.

Under FISA, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance, it must submit an application to the secret intelligence court demonstrating that there is probable cause that its individual target is a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and it must identify the particular phone line or communications facility used by the target. The terms “foreign power or agent of a foreign power” are broadly defined. They include foreign government officials, foreign political organizations not substantially composed of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, and foreign individuals engaged in terrorism. While this authority is certainly narrower than EO 12333 or Section 702, it too leaves room for abuse.

For example, under traditional FISA, the government would have the authority to surveil virtually any foreign government official—including that official’s entirely legal conversations with individuals in the United States. These communications can be retained or disseminated under procedures that are more lenient than those that apply to federal wiretaps. For instance, in the wiretapping context, the government is supposed to immediately purge communications that are considered irrelevant. FISA, by contrast, permits retention, analysis, and dissemination of Americans’ information for years, regardless of whether there is any evidence of criminal activity.

The Potential for Abuse Is Real, No Matter What the Intel Community Says

The intelligence agencies would argue that these authorities do not permit the government to deliberately “target” Americans—at least not without a warrant—mitigating constitutional concerns. But that explanation only tells half the story. The reality is that these authorities are used to vacuum up large amounts of Americans’ data, do not prevent the government from knowingly capturing the communications that Americans have with tens of thousands of foreign “targets,” and, in some cases, routinely collect purely domestic communications. Moreover, once Americans’ information is collected, there are inadequate safeguards to ensure that such data is not inappropriately used.  

The fact that our intelligence-gathering laws leave room for politically motivated surveillance should give us pause. And it’s not enough for President Trump or members of Congress to simply express outrage that the private communications of political leaders could have been surveilled. With the expiration of Section 702 looming, they have the opportunity to push for a complete overhaul of our surveillance authorities, and ensure that they are brought fully in line with the requirements of our Constitution.  

In other words, President Trump should match his action to his tweets, and demand that Section 702 and other authorities be reformed.

Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/could-the-president-spy-on-his-political-opponents/

Story 2: Time Running Out For Federal $25 Billion Funding Appropriation $25 Billion of for Trump’s  Wall — Videos

Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for helping hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.

Funding for the wall — a top Trump priority — and legal protections for so-called Dreamers, a key Democratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said.

“They’re two different subjects,” she said.

Her comments came as the House and Senate approved a stopgap bill Thursday to keep the government funded through Dec. 21. The measure, approved by voice votes in near-empty chambers, now goes to the White House.

Trump has promised to sign the two-week extension to allow for ceremonies this week honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected. Trump is set to meet Tuesday at the White House with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said the lame-duck Congress should now pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” Pelosi said, noting that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it, an idea Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected.

Even if Mexico did pay for the wall, “it’s immoral still,” Pelosi said.

Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.

Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.

If Republicans object to the proposal because of pressure from Trump, Schumer said lawmakers should follow Pelosi’s advice and approve six appropriations bills and a separate measure extending current funding for Homeland Security.

Either option would avert a partial government shutdown, which lawmakers from both parties oppose, he said.

“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” Schumer said. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats, who face increasing pressure from outside groups and liberal lawmakers to resist Trump’s continued push for the barrier, which Trump says is needed to stop an “invasion” of Central American migrants and others from crossing into the country illegally.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said he prefers to include Homeland Security in an omnibus package containing seven unresolved spending bills for the current budget year.

“I believe the best route is to keep all seven together and pass them,” the Alabama Republican told reporters Thursday. Lawmakers have “made a lot of progress” in recent weeks on the seven spending bills. “I’d like to conclude it,’” he said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican leadership, said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

“It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this story.

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Sessions departed from the role last month, and Trump named Matthew Whitaker as the government’s top lawyer on an interim basis. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert, Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

President Trump To Tap Former Attorney General William Barr To Head Justice Department

William P. Barr

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Bill Barr
William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg
77th United States Attorney General
In office
November 26, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Thornburgh
Succeeded by Janet Reno
25th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 1990 – November 26, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Donald B. Ayer
Succeeded by George J. Terwilliger III
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legal Counsel
In office
April 1989 – May 1990
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Douglas Kmiec
Succeeded by J. Michael Luttig
Personal details
Born
William Pelham Barr

May 23, 1950 (age 68)
New York CityNew York, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Moynihan
Children 3
Education Columbia University (BAMA)
George Washington University(JD)

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States. He is a Republican and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

Early life, education, and career

Barr was born in New York City. The son of Columbia University faculty members Mary and Donald Barr, he grew up on the Upper West Side, attended the Corpus Christi School and Horace Mann School. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1971 and his M.A. degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. He received his J.D. degree with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School.[1]

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

From 1973-77, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

Department of Justice

Barr and Dan Quayle watch as President George H. W. Bush signs the Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1991

During 1989, at the beginning of his administration, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor for the President and executive agencies. Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted by the United States government for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

During May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr was generally praised for his professional management of the Department.[4]

Acting Attorney General of the United States

During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr accepted that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6]

Nomination and confirmation

It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr’s management of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

Barr’s two-day confirmation hearing was “unusually placid” and he received a good reception from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8] Asked whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8] Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the “first candid answer” he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade.[9] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”[9]

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[10] The New York Times described the “central theme” of his tenure to be: “his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders.”[10] At the same time, reporters consistently described Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[11]

Subsequent career

After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[12] Barr currently serves with several corporate boards.[citation needed]

In his adopted home state of Virginia, Barr was appointed during 1994 by then-Governor George Allen to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in the state.[13] He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg from 1997 to 2005.[14]

He became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009.

In 2009, Barr was of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis and joined the firm in 2017.[15]

On December 6, 2018, it was reported that President Donald Trump was considering Barr to be Attorney General.[16][17]

Policy positions

Immigration

As deputy attorney general, Barr successfully challenged a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people with HIV/AIDS into the United States.[18] He also advocated the use of Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and HIV infected peoples from claiming asylum in the United States.[19]

Crime and security

Social issues

Barr has stated that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8]

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

Barr is an avid bagpiper, an avocation he began at age 8, and has played competitively in Scotland with a major American pipe band; he was a member for some time of the City of Washington Pipe Band.[20]

Barr is a Roman Catholic. He married Christine Moynihan in June 1973, and they have three grown daughters. He is a resident of Virginia.[citation needed]

References … 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Barr

Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

The US Is Making Its Mark On The Global Oil Market, But How Long Will It Last?

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years

 Updated on 
  • Crude, refined products exports exceed imports in weekly data
  • Shale boom has boosted U.S. crude oil shipments to record
Oil Analyst Sankey Sees OPEC Cuts Stabilizing Market Short-Term
Paul Sankey, analyst at Mizuho, examines what production cuts from OPEC+ can mean to the global oil market.

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

American Oil Renaissance

U.S. net imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products

Sources: 1918-1948 courtesy of Michael Lynch and adapted from American Petroleum Institute’s ‘Petroleum Facts and Figures 1959’; for 1949-2017 U.S. EIA ‘Monthly Energy Review’. 2018 and 2019 are forecast from the EIA.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/u-s-becomes-a-net-oil-exporter-for-the-first-time-in-75-years

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1181, December 4, 2018, Story 1: Revolt of the Yellow Vests Against French Elites Carbon Tax — Political Climate Changing — Revolt of The People Against Their Political Elitist Establishment Controlled Governments — Videos — Story 2: People and Nationalism Against The Globalism New World Order– Revolt of The Masses — Story 3: German Elite’s Mass Immigration Crisis — German People Vs. Political Elites — Nationalism vs. Globalism — Freedom vs. Tyranny — Videos — Story 4: United Nation’s Panel Proposes That Criticisms of Mass Migration Policies  Will Be A Criminal Offense — Crushing Dissent — Migration is Not A Human Right — Video

Posted on December 4, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Climate Change, Coal, Coal, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, France, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Lying, Media, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Science, Senate, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, The 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Unemployment, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Revolt and Riots of the Yellow Vests Against French Elite’s Carbon Tax — Political Climate Changing — Revolt of The People Against Their Political Elitist Establishment Controlled Governments — Videos

See the source imageclimatefactors

Anti-Macron riots in Paris turn deadly

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Lord Christopher Monckton – Global Warming is a Hoax

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]

The Great Global Warming Swindle – Full Documentary HD

Richard Lindzen ICCC4

 

Alarming Global Warming: What Happens to Science in the Public Square. Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D.

From DDP 30th Annual Meeting, July 2012. Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability.

His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the
origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity.

He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer, and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying what determines the pole-to-equator temperature difference, the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability, and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport.

He has also been developing a new approach to air-sea interaction in the tropics, and is actively involved in parameterizing the role of cumulus convection in heating and drying the atmosphere and in generating upper level cirrus clouds. He has developed models for the Earths climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000-year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate. Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMSs Meisinger and Charney Awards, the AGUs Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.

He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Council of the AMS. He has also been a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technologys Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University.From DDP 30th Annual Meeting, July 2012. Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability.

His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer, and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying what determines the pole-to-equator temperature difference, the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability, and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport.

He has also been developing a new approach to air-sea interaction in the tropics, and is actively involved in parameterizing the role of cumulus convection in heating and drying the atmosphere and in generating upper level cirrus clouds. He has developed models for the Earths climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000-year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate.

Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMSs Meisinger and Charney Awards, the AGUs Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC B

 

Macron Blinks in Fuel-Tax Dispute With Yellow Vests

Grass-roots movement ‘gilets jaunes’ led violent protests in the heart of Paris, pressuring him to back down on key piece of his economic overhaul

Protesters wave flares and French flags near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration over high fuel prices on the Champs-Élysèe in Paris.
Protesters wave flares and French flags near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration over high fuel prices on the Champs-Élysèe in Paris.PHOTO: YOAN VALAT/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron suffered the first major setback in his push to overhaul the French economy, backing off a fuel-tax increase that enraged much of the nation and sparked a grass-roots protest movement against his government.

Faced with another weekend of destructive protests by the gilets jaunes—or yellow vests—Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told a press conference on Tuesday that the tax increase would be pushed back six months to allow for public discussion. The worst riots to hit Paris in decades erupted during antigovernment protests on Saturday, leaving the city’s shopping and tourist center dotted with burning cars and damaged storefronts. Protesters vandalized the Arc de Triomphe, rattling Mr. Macron’s administration and the country.

“No tax is worth threatening the unity of the nation,” Mr. Philippe said.

The protests have become a test of Mr. Macron’s resolve to forge ahead with his broader agenda, particularly his plans to make France more business-friendly. The concession marked the first time the Macron government has blinked since the former investment banker took office in the spring of 2017.

Mr. Macron won the presidency on a platform that promised to make the French economy more competitive while also cutting pollution and preserving the nation’s generous social protections. His proposals included reduced jobs protections for workers, higher fuel taxes, cutting red tape for businesses and a repeal of much of France’s wealth tax.

The French leader has eschewed the consensus-building approach of his predecessors. Instead, he wielded his executive powers and his large majority in Parliament to defy the political opposition, unions and other groups.

In recent months, however, Mr. Macron’s approval ratings have plummeted and lawmakers in his own party have urged him to offer concessions as the gilets jaunes protests have mounted. Polls show that more than 70% of the public supports the demonstrators.

It remained unclear whether the delay was enough to thaw tensions. On social media, gilets jaunes were preparing to protest for a fourth consecutive weekend.

“It’s a small victory because he is finally backing down,” said David Roig, a 29-year-old taxi driver. “But what we want isn’t a delay. It’s the cancellation of the planned tax increase.”

France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests Rage at President Macron
France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests Rage at President Macron
The gilets jaunes — or yellow vests — movement started as a protest against higher fuel taxes but it has become a rallying cry against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies. Their latest demonstration resulted in riots in Paris that led to hundreds of arrests and injuries. Image: AFP/Getty

Mr. Macron has much left to accomplish from his agenda. In a speech to his ministers in November, he set the goal of making France “an environmental power of the 21st century.” He is also planning overhauls of the country’s pension system and schools, along with the elimination of tens of thousands of civil-service posts.

Mr. Macron’s agenda also suffered a setback on Tuesday in Brussels, where eurozone finance ministers refused to back French proposals for a sweeping overhaul of the bloc. Mr. Macron made shoring up the currency area a centerpiece of his campaign to prevent a repeat of the crisis that nearly tore the eurozone apart several years ago.

The finance ministers agreed on several measures Mr. Macron backed, including using the eurozone’s bailout fund as a backstop to resolve failing banks and an easing of terms for governments to borrow from the fund.

But there was no deal on a common eurozone budget to fund government spending in nations hit with economic downturns, a goal of Mr. Macron’s. Nations such as the Netherlands and Finland oppose pooling their taxpayers’ money for such purposes. Ministers agreed only that work could start on designing a budget to improve the bloc’s competitiveness and to help poorer economies converge with wealthier ones. The size of that budget has yet to be discussed.

“We would have liked to go further,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, “but we knew that for certain governments, this wasn’t possible.”

The gilets jaunes movement largely has rebuffed the government’s appeals to negotiate, discouraging any representatives from sitting down with officials. A few gilets jaunes who were preparing to meet with Mr. Philippe on Tuesday canceled after receiving threats from more radical factions of the movement.

The protests have exposed the weakness hidden behind Mr. Macron’s large victory over far-right opponent Marine Le Pen. He assembled a winning coalition of centrist voters, but just 42% of registered voters backed Mr. Macron as unprecedented numbers of French left their ballots blank or abstained. Many gilets jaunes come from this segment of the French electorate, deeply skeptical of his centrist, business-friendly policies.

While the fuel-tax proposal spawned the gilets jaunes, the movement has since embraced a broader antigovernment agenda, accusing Mr. Macron of being a champion of the rich at the expense of the working class.

The tax proposal, aimed at simultaneously raising revenue and cutting automobile pollution, was a hallmark of Mr. Macron’s technocratic leadership style. Economists say such consumption taxes that reduce pollution and other harmful effects are an efficient way for the government to raise revenue.

That approach, however, alienated swaths of French people who live in rural and suburban areas and rely on their cars to reach their jobs in city centers. It also compounded the public’s perception that rural France has borne the brunt of globalization’s impact, as forces such as e-commerce and big-box retail have left villages and towns hollowed out.

The result: Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Paris and other cities around France, blocking roads, clashing with police and demanding Mr. Macron’s resignation.

On Tuesday, Mr. Philippe called for a nationwide “consultation” to discuss fiscal policy and public services outside of major cities. He also said there wouldn’t be any increases in the price of natural gas and electricity over the same six-month period.

“The government has made proposals,” Mr. Philippe said. “Let’s talk about it. Let’s improve them, complete them, I am ready for it.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/france-to-delay-fuel-tax-increase-after-violent-protests-1543925246

Story 2: People and Nationalism vs.  The Political Elites’  New World Order of Globalism — Revolt of The Masses — Videos

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Alex Jones SHOW MONDAY 12.3.18 | Alex Jones SHOW DECEMBER 3 2018

Story 3: German Elite’s Mass Immigration Crisis — German People Vs. Political Elites — Nationalism vs. Globalism — Freedom vs. Tyranny — Videos

The Suicide of Europe

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What Is a Globalist?

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Trump, Hitler, and the Millennial Hero Complex

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Lauren Southern on Islam and Immigration in Europe (Pt. 2)

‘Why Would She Do THIS To Her Country??’ – Tucker Carlson Calls Out German Chancellor Angela Merkel

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‘Migration Is Not a Fundamental Human Right’ — Breitbart Interviews Hungarian FM Péter Szijjártó

Tommy Robinson: Germany Fights Back!

UK activist Tommy Robinson speaks out after prison release

Crime spike in Germany puts pressure on immigration policy

Published on Feb 7, 2018

How Muslim immigration has roiled Europe

Published on Dec 20, 2016

Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative für DeutschlandAfD) is a right-wing[18] to far-right[17] political party in Germany. Founded in April 2013, the AfD narrowly missed the 5% electoral threshold to sit in the Bundestag during the 2013 federal election. In 2014 the party won seven seats in the European election as a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists. After securing representation in 14 of the 16 German state parliaments by October 2017, the AfD became the third-largest party in Germany after the 2017 federal election, claiming 94 seats in the Bundestag, a major breakthrough for the party as it was the first time the AfD had won any seats in the Bundestag. The party is chaired by Jörg Meuthen; its lead candidates in the 2017 elections were AfD Co-Vice Chairman Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel who now serves as the party group leader in the Bundestag. Since 2017, AfD is the largest opposition party in the Bundestag.

The party has been described as a German nationalist,[2][3][4] right-wing populist,[19] and Eurosceptic[6] party. Since about 2015, the AfD has been increasingly open to working with far-right extremist groups such as Pegida.[20] Parts of the AfD have racist,[21] Islamophobic,[22] anti-Semitic[23][24] and xenophobic[11][25][26] tendencies linked to far-right movements such as neo-Nazism[27][24] and identitarianism.[28][29]

Contents

History

Founding

In September 2012, Alexander GaulandBernd Lucke, and journalist Konrad Adam, founded the political group Electoral Alternative 2013 (GermanWahlalternative 2013) in Bad Nauheim, to oppose German federal policies concerning the eurozone crisis. Their manifesto was endorsed by several economists, journalists, and business leaders, and stated that the eurozone had proven to be “unsuitable” as a currency area and that southern European states were “sinking into poverty under the competitive pressure of the euro”.[30]

“Wahlalternative 2013” logo

Some candidates of what would become the AfD sought election in Lower Saxony as part of the Electoral Alternative 2013 in alliance with the Free Voters, an association participating in local elections without specific federal or foreign policies, and received 1% of the vote.[30][31] In February 2013 the group decided to found a new party to compete in the 2013 federal elections. The Free Voters leadership declined to join forces, according to a leaked email from Bernd Lucke.[32] Advocating the abolition of the Euro, Alternative for Germany (AfD) took a more radical stance than the Free Voters.[33] Likewise, the Pirate Party of Germany opposed any coalition with the AfD at their 2013 spring convention.[34]

Konrad Adam (left), Frauke Petry and Bernd Lucke during the first AfD convention on 14 April 2013 in Berlin

The AfD’s initial supporters were the same prominent economists, business leaders and journalists who had supported the Electoral Alternative 2013, including former members of the Christian Democratic Union, who had previously challenged the constitutionality of the German government’s eurozone policies at the Federal Constitutional Court.[35][36]

Second vote share percentage for AfD in the 2013 federal election in Germany, final results

On 14 April 2013, the AfD announced its presence to the wider public when it held its first convention in Berlin, elected the party leadership and adopted a party platform. Bernd Lucke,[37] entrepreneur Frauke Petry and Konrad Adam were elected as speakers.[38] The AfD federal board also chose three deputy speakers, Alexander Gauland, Roland Klaus and Patricia Casale. The party elected treasurer Norbert Stenzel and the three assessors Irina Smirnova, Beatrix Diefenbach and Wolf-Joachim Schünemann. The economist Joachim Starbatty, along with Jörn KruseHelga LuckenbachDirk Meyer and Roland Vaubel were elected to the party’s scientific advisory board. Between 31 March and 12 May 2013 the AfD founded affiliates in all 16 German states in order to participate in the federal elections. On 15 June 2013 the Young Alternative for Germany was founded in Darmstadt as the AfD’s youth organisation.[39] In April 2013, during David Cameron‘s visit to Germany, the British Conservative Party was reported to have contacted both AfD and the Free Voters to discuss possible cooperation, supported by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group of the European Parliament.[40] In June 2013, Bernd Lucke gave a question and answer session organised by the Conservative Party-allied Bruges Group think tank in Portcullis House, London.[41] In a detailed report in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in April 2013, the paper’s Berlin-based political correspondent Majid Sattar revealed that the SPD and CDU had conducted opposition research to blunt the growth and attraction of the AfD.[42]

The party was created by Bernd Lucke, Alexander Gauland, and Konrad Adam to confront German-supported bailouts for poorer southern European countries.[43]

2013 federal election

On 22 September 2013, the AfD won 4.7% of the votes in the 2013 federal election, missing the 5% barrier to enter the Bundestag. The party won about 2 million party list votes and 810,000 constituency votes, which was 1.9% of the total of these votes cast across Germany.[44]

2013 state elections

The AfD did not participate in the 2013 Bavaria state election held on 15 September 2013. The AfD gained its first representation in the state parliament of Hesse with the defection of Jochen Paulus from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to the AfD in early May 2013,[45] who was not re-elected and left office in January 2014.[46] In the 2013 Hesse state election held on 22 September 2013, the same day as the 2013 federal election, the AfD failed to gain representation in the parliament with 4.0% of the vote.

2014 European Parliament election

Former “Courage [to stand up] for the truth! The euro is dividing Europe!” tagline on election placard 2013

In early 2014, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled the proposed 3% vote hurdle for representation in the European elections unconstitutional, and the 2014 European Parliament election became the first run in Germany without a barrier for representation.[47]

The AfD held a party conference on 25 January 2014 at Frankenstolz ArenaAschaffenburg, northwest Bavaria. The conference chose the slogan Mut zu Deutschland (“Courage [to stand up] for Germany”) to replace the former slogan Mut zur Wahrheit (lit. “Courage [to speak] the truth” or, more succinctly, “Telling it as it is”),[48] which prompted disagreement among the federal board that the party could be seen as too anti-European. Eventually a compromise was reached by using the slogan “MUT ZU D*EU*TSCHLAND, with the “EU” in “DEUTSCHLAND” encircled by the 12 stars of the European flag.[49] The conference elected the top six candidates for the European elections on 26 January 2014 and met again the following weekend to choose the remaining euro candidates.[48][49][50] Candidates from 7th–28th place on the party list were selected in Berlin on 1 February.[51] Party chairman Bernd Lucke was elected as lead candidate.

In February 2014, AfD officials said they had discussed alliances with Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP), which Bernd Lucke and the federal board of AfD opposed, and also with the ECR group, to which the British Conservative Party belongs.[52] In April 2014 Hans-Olaf Henkel, AfD’s second candidate on the European election list, ruled out forming a group with UKIP after the 2014 European election.[53] stating that he saw the British Conservatives as the preferred partner in the European Parliament.[53] On 10 May 2014 Bernd Lucke had been in talks with the Czech and Polish member parties of ECR group.[54]

In the 25 May 2014 European election, the AfD came in fifth place in Germany, with 7.1% of the national vote (2,065,162 votes), and seven members of the EU parliament.[55] On 12 June 2014 it was announced that the AfD had been accepted into the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.[56] The official vote result was not released to the public, but figures of 29 votes for and 26 against were reported by the membership.[56]

2014 state elections

On 31 August 2014, the AfD scored 9.7% of the vote in the Saxony state election,[57] winning 14 seats in the Landtag of Saxony.[58] and on 14 September 2014 they obtained 10.6% of the vote in the Thuringian and 12.2% in the Brandenburg state election, winning 11 seats in both state parliaments.[59]

2015 state elections

On 15 February 2015 AfD won 6.1% of the vote in the 2015 Hamburg state election, gaining the mandate for eight seats in the Hamburg Parliament,[60] winning their first seats in a western German state.

On 10 May the AfD secured in the 5.5% of the vote in the Bremen state election, 2015 gaining representation in their 5th state parliament on a 50% turnout.[61]

Petry assumes leadership, Lucke quits

After months of factional infighting and a cancelled party gathering in June 2015, on 4 July 2015 Frauke Petry was elected as the de facto principal speaker of the party with 60% of the member votes ahead of Bernd Lucke at a party congress in Essen.[62] Petry was a member of the national-conservative faction of the AfD.[63] Her leadership was widely seen as heralding a shift of the party to the right, to focus more on issues such as migration, Islam and strengthening ties to Russia,[64] a shift which was claimed by Lucke as turning the party into a “Pegidaparty”.[65] In the following week, five MEPs exited the party on 7 July, the only remaining MEPs being Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell[66] and on 8 July 2015, Lucke announced that he was resigning from the AfD, citing the rise of xenophobic and pro-Russian sentiments in the party.[67] At a meeting of members of the Wake-up call (Weckruf 2015) group on 19 July 2015, the founder of the AfD Bernd Lucke and former AfD members announced they would form a new party, the Alliance for Progress and Renewal (ALFA), under the founding principles of the AfD.[68]

Co-operation with FPÖ and exclusion from ECR group

In February 2016, the AfD announced a cooperation pact with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).[69] On 8 March 2016, the bureau of the ECR Group began motions to exclude the AfD from their group due to its links with the far-right FPÖ,[70] inviting the two remaining AfD MEPs to leave the group by 31 March, with a motion of exclusion to be tabled on 12 April if they refuse to leave voluntarily.[71] While MEP Beatrix von Storch left the ECR group on 8 April to join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group,[72][73] Marcus Pretzell let himself be expelled on 12 April 2016.[74]

2016 state elections

With the migrant debate remaining the dominant national issue, on 13 March 2016 elections held in the three states of Baden-WürttembergRhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt saw the AfD receiving double-digit percentages of the vote in all three states.[75][76] In the 2016 Saxony-Anhalt state election, the AfD reached second place in the Landtag, receiving 24.2% of the vote. In the 2016 Baden-Württemberg state election, the AfD achieved third place with 15.1% of the vote. In the 2016 Rhineland-Palatinate state election, the AfD again reached third place with 12.6% of the vote. In Angela Merkel‘s home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern her CDU was beaten into third place following a strong showing of the AfD who contested at state level for the first time, to claim the second-highest polling with 20.8% of the vote in the 2016 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election.[77][78] However AfD voter support in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania appears to have come from both left and right wing parties with support for the SPD down 4.9%, CDU down 4.1%, The Leftdown 5.2%, Alliance ’90/The Greens down 3.9% and support for the National Democratic Party of Germany halved, dropping 3.0%. Rising support for the AfD meant that The Greens and the NDP failed to reach the 5% threshold to qualify for seats in the Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and consequently lost their seats. In the 2016 Berlin state election, which the AfD also contested for the first time,[79] they achieved a vote of 14.2%, making them the fifth largest party represented in the state assembly. Their vote seems to have come equally from the SPD and CDU, whose votes declined 6.7% and 5.7% respectively.[80]

2016 party congress

At the party congress held on 30 April to 1 May 2016, the AfD adopted a policy platform based upon opposition to Islam, calling for the ban of Islamic symbols including burkhasminarets and the call to prayer, using the slogan “Islam is not a part of Germany”.[81][82][83][84]

2017 federal election

Second vote share percentage for AfD in the 2017 federal election in Germany, final results

National party convention in Cologne in April 2017

At the party conference in April 2017, Frauke Petry announced that she would not run as the party’s main candidate for the 2017 federal election. This announcement grew out of internal power struggle as the party’s support had fallen in polls from 15% in the summer of 2016 to 7% just before the conference. Björn Höcke from the far-right wing of the party and Petry were attempting to push each other out of the party. Petry’s decision was partly seen as a step to avoid a vote at the conference on the issue of her standing.[85] The party chose Alexander Gauland, a stark conservative who worked as an editor and was a former member of the CDU,[86] to lead the party in the elections. Gauland supported the retention of Höcke’s party membership. Alice Weidel, who is perceived as more moderate and neoliberal, was elected as his running mate.[87] The party approved a platform that, according to The Wall Street Journal: “urges Germany to close its borders to asylum applicants, end sanctions on Russia and to leave the EU if Berlin fails to retrieve national sovereignty from Brussels, as well as to amend the country’s constitution to allow people born to non-German parents to have their German citizenship revoked if they commit serious crimes.[87]

In the 2017 German federal elections the AfD won 12.6% of the vote and received 94 seats; this was the first time it had won seats in the Bundestag.[88][89] At a press conference held by AfD the day after the election, Petry said that she would participate in the Bundestag as an independent; she said she did this because extremist statements by some members made it impossible for AfD to function as a constructive opposition, and to make clear to voters that there is internal dissent in the AfD. She also said that she would be leaving the party at some future date.[90][91] Four members of the AfD in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania legislature also left the AfD to form their own group.[90]

Ideology and policies

The AfD was founded as a centre-right conservative party of the middle class with a tendency toward ‘soft’ Euroscepticism, being generally supportive of Germany’s membership in the European Union but critical of further European integration, the existence of the euro currency, and the bailouts by the eurozone for countries such as Greece.[92][93][94] At that time, the party also advocated support for Swiss-style direct democracy, dissolution of the Eurozoneopposition to immigration, and opposed gay marriage.[15]

By May 2015, the party became polarised into two factions, one centred around Lucke and his core economic policies and another group led by Petry, which favoured an anti-immigration approach. The result was that Lucke’s faction left to found a new party: the Alliance for Progress and Renewal,[95] later renamed the Liberal Conservative Reformers in November 2016. AfD also supports the privatization of social programs and state owned enterprises.[96][97]

German nationalism

The party was founded on opposition to Germany’s financial support of other Eurozone states and the third main point of its initial platform called for Germany to cede no further elements of its sovereignty to the EU without approval via a referendum.[30] Over time, a focus on German nationalism, on reclaiming Germany’s sovereignty and national pride, especially in repudiation to Germany’s culture of shame with regard to its Nazi past, became more central in AfD’s ideology and a central plank in its populist appeals.[2][3][4] For example, Petry, who led the moderate wing of the party, said that Germany should reclaim the German word “völkisch” from its Nazi connotations,[98] while Höcke, who is an example of the more right-wing views, regularly speaks of the “Fatherland” and “Volk.”[2] In January 2017, Höcke drew heavy criticism for a speech in which he stated, in reference to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, “Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital,” and criticized the “laughable policy of coming to terms with the past.”[99][100] Höcke continued that Germany should make a “180 degree” turn with regard to its sense of national pride.[2]

The party also describes German national identity as under threat both from European integration and from the presence and accommodation of immigrants and refugees within Germany; its anti-immigration message is often articulated in this way, especially with regard to Islam.[3][4]

Homosexuality and feminism

According to its interim electoral manifesto, the party is against same-sex marriage and favours civil unions. The party is also against adoption for same-sex couples.[101] The left-leaning newspaper Die Tageszeitung described the group as advocating ‘old gender roles’.[102] Wolfgang Gedeon, an elected AfD representative, has included feminism, along with “sexualism,” and “migrationism”, in an ideology he calls “green communism” that he opposes, and argues for family values as part of German identity.[103] As AfD has campaigned for traditional roles for women, it has aligned itself with groups opposed to modern feminism.[104] The youth wing of the party has used social media to campaign against aspects of modern feminism, with the support of party leadership.[105]

Environment

The party has a platform of climate change scepticism,[101][106] and therefore criticizes the energy transformation policies (Energiewende) that have promoted renewable energy. The party wants to restrict “uncontrolled expansion of wind energy”, for instance.[101]

Conscription

AfD wants a reinstatement of conscription, starting for men at the age of 18.[107][101]

Foreign policy

In foreign policy, as of 2015 the party platform was pro-NATO, pro-United States and largely pro-Israel,[10][108] but the party was significantly divided on whether to support Russia, and had opposed sanctions on Russia supported by NATO and the United States.[109] It is also divided on free trade agreements.[109]

Membership

membership numbers
2013 17,687[110]
2014 20,728[110]
2015 16,385[110]
2016 26,409[110]
2017 29,000[111]
2018 31,000[111]

Party finances

Because the 2013 federal election was the first attempt to join by the party, the AfD had not received any federal funds in the run-up to it,[112] but after receiving 2 million votes it crossed the threshold for party funding and was expected to receive an estimated 1.3 to 1.5 million Euros per year of state subsidies.[113] After joining the parliament after the election of 2017 with more than 90 representatives, the party received more than 70 million Euros per year. This will probably rise to more than 100 million Euros per year from 2019 onward. Further, the party has established and acknowledged a foundation for political education, and other purposes, close to the party but organized separately, which may be able to claim up to 80 million Euro per year.[114] This foundation would be need to be acknowledged by the federal parliament in Germany first, but it generally has a legal claim to these subsidies.

European affiliations

Following the 2014 European Parliament elections, on 12 June 2014 the AfD was accepted into the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.[56]

In February 2016, the AfD announced a closer cooperation with the right-wing populist party Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), which is a member of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group.[69] On 8 March 2016, the bureau of the ECR Group began motions to exclude AfD MEPs from their group due to the party’s links with the far-right FPÖ and controversial remarks by two party leader, about shooting immigrants.[70][71] MEP Beatrix von Storch pre-empted her imminent expulsion by leaving the ECR group to join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group on 8 April,[72][73] and Marcus Pretzell was expelled from the ECR group on 12 April 2016.[74] During the AfD party convention on 30 April 2016, Pretzell announced his intention to join the Europe of Nations and Freedomgroup.[115][116]

Public image

Alternative for Germany in 2013

Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland in April 2017

At the outset AfD presented itself as conservative and middle-class, catering to a well-educated demographic; around two-thirds of supporters listed on its website in the early days held doctorates, leading to AfD being nicknamed the “professors’ party” in those early days.[117][118][119] The party was described as professors and academics who dislike the compromises inflicted on their purist theories by German party politics.[120] 86% of the party’s initial supporters were male.[45]

Relationship with far-right groups

Outside the Berlin hotel where the party held its inaugural meeting, it has been alleged that copies of Junge Freiheit, a weekly that is also popular with the far-right were being handed out.[121] The Rheinische Post pointed out that some AfD members and supporters write for the conservative paper Junge Freiheit.[42][122] There was also a protest outside the venue of the party’s inaugural meeting by Andreas Storr, a National Democratic Party of Germany(NPD) representative in the Landtag of Saxony, as the NPD sees the AfD as a rival for Eurosceptic votes.[123]

In 2013 Alternative for Germany party organisers sent out the message that they are not trying to attract right-wing radicals, and toned down rhetoric on their Facebook page following media allegations that it too closely evoked the language of the far-right.[117][124] At that time the AfD checked applicants for membership to exclude far-right and former NPD members who support the anti-Euro policy (as other mainstream German political parties do).[117][118][125] The former party chairman Bernd Lucke initially defended the choice of words, citing freedom of opinion, and a right to use “strong words”, meanwhile he has also said that “The applause is coming from the wrong side” in regards to praise his party gained from the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).[117]

A 2013 investigation conducted by the internet social analytic company Linkfluence showed little to no similarities in Facebook likes of AfD followers and those of the NPD supporter base.[126] AfD members interests tended towards euroscepticism and direct democracy, while NPD supporters showed interests in anti-Islamification, right-wing rock bands and the German military.[126] An evaluation between the hyperlinks included on AFD local party websites also showed few similarities, with the company’s German chief-executive stating “The AfD supporter base and the right-wing extremist scene are digitally very far removed from one another”.[126] The analysis did point to AfD members favouring links with right-wing populist reactionary conservative content.[126] The AfD’s desire to break consensus-based politics and oppose political correctness as undermining freedom of speech, does lend it kudos as a legitimate mouthpiece for right-wing populism among some of the party membership and on regional AfD websites, which contrasts with the intellectual character of the party hierarchy.[126]

Left-wing criticism of the party took a more hardened tone over the late summer 2013,[citation needed] with an array of political activists from far-left anti-fascist anarchists to the mainstream Green Party accusing it of pandering to xenophobic and nationalistic sentiments.[127] This ultimately led to the AfD complaining over incidents of verbal abuse and violence to its campaigners in Berlin, LübeckNuremberg and the university city of Göttingen.[127] Incidents in Göttingen flared after a party conference on 1 August, with police intervening later in the month in an attempted garage arson attack (in which there was said to be a car filled with AfD campaign literature) and to break up a dispute between the AfD and members of the Green Youth.[127] Party leader Bernd Lucke described the events as a “slap in the face for every person who supports democracy” with the party in Lower Saxony left questioning whether to abandon their campaign in the state as local pub and restaurant owners denied the party access to their venues fearing for their businesses.[127]

On 24 August 2013, Lucke and 16 other party members were reported to have been attacked in Bremen by opponents who used pepper spray and pushed Lucke from the stage. Initial reports by party officials and the police suggested that they were left-wing extremists and that about eight out of 20–25 attackers had succeeded in getting onto the stage. It was reported that a campaign worker had been cut with a knife. Later the police indicated that the number of people was probably around 10, of whom only two were known to have gained access to the stage, that only one of the opponents was known to be a left wing activist, and that the minor cut sustained by a campaign worker was probably not caused by a knife and was incurred later when attempting to apprehend a fleeing attacker.[128]

Following the German Federal Election 2013 the anti-Islam party Die Freiheit unilaterally pledged to support Alternative for Germany in the 2014 elections and concentrate its efforts on local elections only.[129] Bernd Lucke responded by saying the recommendation was unwelcome and sent a letter to party associations recommending a hiring freeze.[130] Earlier in September, Lucke described the Freedom Party members as coming from two camps, one of extreme Islam critics and populists, the other, ordinary democrats who were joining the AfD.[129] Co-operation with the Freedom Party remains controversial within the ranks of the AfD,[130] with some German state associations conducting vetting interviews with former Freedom Party members.[129] Referring to an initiative for an LGBT specific sex education in elementary school, Petry had asked on her social media presence if homophobia was such a common prejudice among third and fourth grade children, that it would be necessary to confront them with it. An article in the German LGBT magazine Queerinterpreted her statement as a demand to protect ″normal” (allegedly referring to heterosexual) families in elementary school.[131]

AfD MEP Beatrix von Storch is a known opponent of same-sex marriage.[132] She has accused school gay youth networks of using “forced sexualization” on their students.

In November 2015, a leading Berlin theatre, the Schaubühne, was brought into legal conflict with members of the AfD over a piece, Falk Richter’s FEAR, that parodied them as zombies and mass murderers.[133] AfD vice-president Beatrix von Storch is depicted facing retribution for her maternal grandfather’s role as a minister in Hitler‘s government.[134] AfD Spokesperson, Christian Lüth, responded by interrupting a performance and filming it. Beatrix von Storch, and Conservative spokesperson Hedwig von Beverfoerde, then requested and obtained a preliminary injunction against the theatre, prohibiting it from using images of them in the production. They charged that the images’ use violated their human dignity protected under the Constitution.[135] On 15 December 2015, the court ruled against the complainants in favour of the theatre’s freedom of expression and lifted the injunctions against using the images. The judges commented that ‘any audience member can recognize that this is just a play’.[136]

In November 2015 Markus Pretzell said that German borders should be defended “with armed force as a measure of last resort,”[74] and in January 2016, Frauke Petry twice said similar things.[137] Petry told the regional newspaper Mannheimer Morgen in an interview, but she later denied this and claimed that the press lied about her statement. Rhein-Zeitung has offered the audio-recording of the interview in which she advocates firing on refugees.[138]

Stern reports that among 396 AfD candidates for the 2017 Bundestag, 47 candidates have not distanced themselves from right extremism. Although a large proportion of the candidates are not openly racist, some relativize Germany’s role in World War II or call for the recognition of a “Cult of Guilt”. 30 candidates tolerate right-wing friends in their profile or are themselves members of groups associated with such people. Others mourn the German Reich or use their symbols.[139]

Pegida

In response to the Pegida movement and demonstrations, members of AfD have expressed different views, with Lucke describing the movement as “a sign that these people do not feel their concerns are understood by politicians.”[140] In response to the CDU Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere alleging an “overlap” between Pegida rallies and the AfD, Alexander Gauland stated that the AfD are “natural allies of this movement”.[141] However, Hans-Olaf Henkel asked members of the party not to join the demonstrations, telling Der Tagesspiegel that he believed it could not be ruled out that they had “xenophobic or even racist connotations”.[140] A straw poll by The Economist found that nine out of ten Pegida protesters would back the AfD.[142]

Antisemitism

Björn Höcke, one of the founders of AfD,[143][144][145][146] gave a speech in Dresden in January 2017, in which, referring to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, he stated that “we Germans are the only people in the world who have planted a memorial of shame in the heart of their capital”[147] and suggested that Germans “need to make a 180 degree change in their politics of commemoration.”[148]

The speech was widely criticized as antisemitic, among others by Jewish leaders in Germany.[147][149] Within the AfD, he was described by his party chairwoman, Frauke Petry, as a “burden to the party” while other members of the party, such as Alexander Gauland, said that they found no anti-semitism in the speech.[147]

As a result of his speech, the leaders of the AfD have asked in February 2017 that Björn Höcke be expelled from the party. The arbitration committee of the AfD in Thuringia is set to rule on the leaders’ request.[150] As of August 2017, Höcke remains “a part of the soul of the AfD”.[151]

Junge Alternative youth organisation

The Young Alternative for Germany (GermanJunge Alternative für Deutschland or JA), was founded in 2013 as the youth organisation of the AfD, while remaining legally independent from its mother party.[39]

In view of the JA’s independence it has been regarded by some in the AfD hierarchy as being somewhat wayward,[152] with the JA repeatedly accused of being “too far right,”[153] politically regressive and anti-feminist by the German mainstream media.[152][154][155]

Elections

Federal Parliament (Bundestag)

Election year Constituencyvotes Party listvotes % ofparty list votes Seats won +/– Status
2013[156] 810,915 2,056,985 4.7

0 / 631

0 Extra-parliamentary
2017[88][89] 5,316,095 5,877,094 12.6

94 / 709

+94 Opposition

European Parliament

Election year Votes % of vote Rank Seats won +/–
2014[157] 2,070,014 7.1 #5

7 / 96

+7

State Parliaments (Landtage)

State election, year Votes % ofvote Rank Seats won +/– Status
Saxony, 2014[158] 159,611 9.7 #4

14 / 126

+14 Opposition
Thuringia, 2014[159] 99,548 10.6 #4

11 / 91

+11 Opposition
Brandenburg, 2014[160] 119,989 12.2 #4

11 / 88

+11 Opposition
Hamburg, 2015[161] 214,833 6.1 #6

8 / 121

+8 Opposition
Bremen, 2015[162] 64,368 5.5 #6

5 / 83

+5 Opposition
Baden-Württemberg, 2016[163] 809,311 15.1 #3

23 / 143

+23 Opposition
Rhineland-Palatinate, 2016[164] 267,813 12.6 #3

14 / 101

+14 Opposition
Saxony-Anhalt, 2016[165] 271,646 24.4 #2

25 / 87

+25 Opposition
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 2016[166] 167,453 20.8 #2

18 / 71

+18 Opposition
Berlin, 2016[167] 231,325 14.2 #5

25 / 160

+25 Opposition
Saarland, 2017[168] 32,971 6.2 #4

3 / 51

+3 Opposition
Schleswig-Holstein, 2017[169] 86,275 5.9 #5

5 / 73

+5 Opposition
North Rhine-Westphalia, 2017[170] 624,552 7.4 #4

16 / 199

+16 Opposition
Lower Saxony, 2017[171] 235,840 6.2 #5

9 / 137

+9 Opposition
Bavaria, 2018[172] 1,383,866 10.2 #4

22 / 200

+22 Opposition
Hesse, 2018[173] 378,692 13.1 #4

19 / 110

+19 Opposition

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_for_Germany

Lauren Southern

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Lauren Southern
Lauren Southern.jpg

Southern in 2016
Born 16 June 1995 (age 23)[1]

Residence TorontoOntario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of the Fraser Valley
(withdrew)
Occupation Political activist, internet personality[2]
Political party Libertarian
YouTube information
Nationality Canadian
Channel
Years active 2015–present
Subscribers 620 thousand
Total views 50 million
show

Subscriber and view counts updated as of August 2018.
Website laurensouthern.net

Lauren Cherie Southern (born 16 June[3] 1995) is a Canadian far-right political activist,[a] internet personality, writer and documentary film director. She has been described as alt-right,[b] though she has denied this. In 2015, Southern ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in the Canadian federal election. She worked for The Rebel Media until March 2017. In addition, she has written for Spiked,[4] the International Business Times, and The Libertarian Republic.[5] Southern continues to work independently and uploads videos on YouTube.

In 2017, Southern supported the white identitarian group Defend Europe opposing the action of non-governmental organizations involved in search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. She was detained by the Italian Coast Guard for blocking a ship embarking on a search-and-rescue mission.[6] In March 2018, she was questioned under the UK Terrorism Act[7] and denied entry to Britain, because of her intentions during her March visit.[8] She said she was “permanently banned” from the UK,[9] though it was later confirmed she was refused entry for specific purposes only, not banned.[10]

In July 2018, she went on a speaking tour of Australia and jokingly called for the country to be bombed, quoting the Bible.[11] In August 2018, her attempted speaking tour of New Zealand was unsuccessful. Auckland Councilcancelled Southern’s booking and blocked her from using its venues to “stir up ethnic or religious tensions”.[12]

Education and personal life

Southern was born in Surrey, British Columbia.[13] She studied political science at the University of the Fraser Valley but completed only two years and did not receive a degree.[14][15][16] Regarding her reason for dropping out, Southern stated that it was a waste of money to pay for knowledge that she could get on her own.[14]

Political career

In 2015, Southern was a candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election representing the Libertarian Party in the district of Langley—Aldergrove.[15] She was briefly removed by the party as a candidate, but was eventually reinstated with support from Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.[17] The election was eventually won by Conservative candidate Mark Warawa. Southern finished last, having received 535 votes, or 0.9% of the total.[18]

Activism

In June 2015 while reporting on the Vancouver SlutWalk for Rebel Media, Southern’s cameraman was shoved and Southern’s protest sign stating “There Is No Rape Culture In The West” was torn up.[19][20]

In March 2016, a protester in Vancouver poured a container of urine over Southern’s head while she was engaging with LGBTQ protesters at a rally in Vancouver, arguing for two human genders.[21][22][23]

Southern was mistakenly suspended from Facebook, having criticized the site for banning several conservative commentators. She later received an email apology from Facebook saying the suspension was an “error”.[24][25]

In October 2016, Southern had her gender legally changed to male as part of a video produced for Rebel Media to show the ease of Ontario’s new gender ID laws.[26][27]

In 2016, Southern authored and self-published Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.[28][29]

In January 2017, Southern posted incorrect rumours from 4chan that the Quebec City mosque shooting had been carried out by Syrian refugees; she later deleted those tweets.[30] In March 2017, Southern announced she would be leaving Rebel Media to become an independent journalist.[31] In the same month, she gained access to White House press briefings.[32][33]

In April 2017, Southern was one of several scheduled speakers at a Patriots’ Day rally in Berkeley, California.[34] The rally led to a riot between pro-Trump demonstrators and anti-Trump counter-protesters.[35]

Support for the targetting of NGO ships

In May 2017, Southern took part in an attempt organized by the identitarian group Génération identitare to block the passage of an NGO ship, the Aquarius (co-owned by SOS Mediterranée and by Doctors without Borders), which was leaving Sicily to start a search-and-rescue mission for ship-wrecked migrants off the shores of Northern Africa. Claiming that the goal of the activists “was to stop an empty boat from going down to Libya and filling up with illegal migrants”, Southern was briefly detained by the Italian Coast Guard. NGO ships often rescue migrants and refugees, who disembark from Libyan shores on unsafe makeshift rafts, and bring them to Sicily.[36][37] With regard to her actions, Southern stated that “if the politicians won’t stop the boats, we’ll stop the boats.”[6]

Southern supported similar actions by identitarian group Defend Europe, which chartered a vessel in order to track and stop what it called collusion between NGOs and human traffickers. The group has been accused[by whom?] of intending to obstruct the rescue of migrants and refugees in distress at sea. In July 2017, Southern revealed that Patreon had deleted her account out of concerns about her “raising funds in order to take part in activities that are likely to cause loss of life”.[38] Southern denied these allegations, stating that Defend Europe’s actions were likely to save lives and that none of her funding went towards the group.[39]

United Kingdom-related events

In February 2018, Southern, along with Brittany Pettibone and Caolan Robertson, distributed flyers in the English town of Luton describing Allah as “gay”.[7]

In March 2018, Southern, Pettibone, and Pettibone’s boyfriend, Martin Sellner, were all denied entry to the United Kingdom.[40] Southern was also questioned under the Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.[7] Her denial of entry was due to her intentions during her March visit[8] and on the same grounds as Pettibone and Sellner.[41]

She said she was “permanently banned” from the UK.[9][42] However, it was later confirmed she was instead refused entry for specific purposes only, and reports of her being banned were false.[10]

2018 Australian tour

Shortly before a planned speaking tour of Australia in July 2018, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs denied Lauren Southern an Electronic Travel Authority visa, saying it was “not a working visa”.[43] She intended to charge $79 for a basic ticket and up to $749 for an “intimate dinner”.[44] The Australian government allowed her to enter the country once she had the correct visa.[45] Arriving at Brisbane airport, she was wearing an “It’s OK to be white” shirt.[46][47]

When she asked people on the street in Melbourne “Should we kill Lauren Southern?”, many had never heard of her.[48] A speaking event in Melbourne was opposed by more than 100 protestors.[49]

There were no protestors at her event in Sydney, where ticket holders were notified of the venue by receiving a text on the day.[50] The Sydney event included a $200 meet-and-greet, a $500 VIP meet-and-greet and a $750 dinner.[51]

In Brisbane, Lauren Southern supported bombing the Australian city of Melbourne, quoting the Bible, as a joke.[11] She was opposed by around 60 protesters.[52]

2018 New Zealand tour

In August 2018, Southern’s attempted speaking tour of New Zealand was unsuccessful. Auckland Council cancelled her booking and blocked her from using its venues to “stir up ethnic or religious tensions”.[12] For agreeing with the cancellation, an MP received violent threats.[53]

The subsequent booking of a private venue was revoked by its owners, one of whom said “The minute I heard who it was I cancelled”.[54] In retaliation, their venue was vandalised.[55]

The failure to find a venue was celebrated by around 1,000 protestors, who said the planned event had nothing to do with freedom of speech. The Prime Minister said Southern’s views “are not those that are shared by this country”.[56]

Auckland Council venue cancellation

Southern and Canadian podcaster and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux were scheduled to speak in Auckland on 3 August 2018, at an Auckland Council-owned theatre. However, Auckland Live, the Council agency responsible for the theatre, cancelled the venue booking on the grounds of concerns around “the health and safety of the presenters, staff and patrons”. The Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff then tweeted that Council venues should not be used to “stir up ethnic or religious tensions”.[57] He later said “we’ve got no obligation at all” to provide a venue for “hate speech”.[53] In response, Southern denied assertions that her views were “hate speech” and warned about the danger of “progressivism”.[12][58]

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and National Party leader Simon Bridges said they would have supported her right to speak, while Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said she supported the ban.[59][60] For saying so, Davidson’s family was sent degrading messages of a sexual nature and death threats by supporters of Lauren Southern.[53] Human rights lawyer Craig Tuck criticized Mayor Goff’s decision as a violation of free speech, while the cancellation of Southern and Molyneux’s tour was welcomed by the Auckland Peace Action activist group and the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).[12] By contrast, The Spinoff contributor Ali Shakir said that while he disagreed with many of Southern’s views, he thought she and Molyneux should be welcomed to New Zealand and said that barring them damaged the country’s commitment to freedom of expression and raised “serious concerns about the process.” Shakir also questioned FIANZ’s claim to speak for all Muslims.[61] A group called the Free Speech Coalition advocated for a judicial review of the cancellation and raised NZ$50,000 in less than 24 hours.[62] The group’s supporters included former Labour Party cabinet minister Michael Bassett, former National and ACT parties leader Don Brash, Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church, Auckland University of Technology historian Paul Moon, broadcaster Lindsay Perrigo, political commentator Chris Trotter, and New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union director Jordan Williams.[63]

Visa granted

On 20 July, Immigration New Zealand granted visas for Southern and Molyneux to visit New Zealand. While describing their views as “repugnant” and “counter to the kind and tolerant values of the vast majority of New Zealanders”, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Gallowaycleared their entry on the grounds that the duo had met immigration character requirements including not having prior criminal convictions. He added that they were never banned from Australia or the United Kingdom as previously reported.[64] Southern welcomed the news and tweeted that she hoped that she and Molyneux could be “unbarred” from their venue as well.[65][66]

Alistair McCylmont, a leading immigration lawyer, later said there were “plenty” of grounds to stop the two coming into the country. He cited the visa cancellation of a rapper in 2014 using a law usually reserved for white supremacists, and suggested the grounds of a risk to order or the public interest. “Considering the amount of information out there in the public forum about the views held by the different people and what they’ve been talking, they would be plenty of grounds that could have been applied to declining visas.” However, the minister took the view that denying entry would not be justified.[67]

Seeking a private venue

On 25 July, Southern and Molyneux cancelled their trip to New Zealand. The Free Speech Coalition said time had run out to find alternative arrangements for the pair, following the Auckland Council ban.[68] On 26 July, Southern and Molyneux’s promoter David Pellowe said that the duo would be speaking in Auckland after claiming that a new speaking venue had been found.[69][70]

On 2 August, Southern and Molyneux arrived in Auckland for their speaking event on the following day.[71] An email to attendees said the pair look forward to the day when “ideas right of Stalin are permitted equal rights to peaceful assembly”.[72][73] The speaking tour was booked at Auckland’s Powerstation theatre but was cancelled shortly after the venue was revealed on social media. Owner Peter Campbell rescinded the booking, citing disruption to neighbours.[74] Co-owner Gabrielle Mullins cited “humanitarian issues”,[72] adding “The minute I heard who it was I cancelled”,[54] “It goes against quite a lot of things that we say”[73] and “They can say whatever they want but personally I don’t want it in my venue”.[72] For refusing to host the speakers, their building was vandalised with graffiti.[55]

Response to private cancellation

Tāmaki Anti Fascist Action spokesperson Sina Brown-Davis said her group feared “dehumanising depictions of indigenous people” in New Zealand.[75] Molyneux had called Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people “the lowest rung of civilisation”.[76] Brown-Davis added “They’ve been quite clever framing this as a free speech issue, which they use as a smokescreen to introduce their politics of hate and division.”[72] In response to the cancellation, Southern blamed a “violent and scary minority willing to make threats and commit violence” for shutting down free speech.[77][78] Roughly 1000 protestors gathered in Auckland’s Aotea Square that night, celebrating the cancellation of the event, which they said had nothing to do with freedom of speech.[56]

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand is “hostile” to the views of the speakers and “I think you’ll see from the reaction they’ve had from New Zealanders that their views are not those that are shared by this country, and I’m quite proud of that”.[56] Green Partyco-leader Marama Davidson added “Aotearoa does not stand for your messages of racism, hatred and especially white supremacy”.[72] Justice Minister Andrew Little said the speakers “clearly have misled people” in trying to secure the venue.[79] TV personality Te Hamua Nikora said the pair were against multiculturalism, unlike New Zealand.[78] The minimum ticket price for the cancelled Auckland event was $99.[74]

Views

Southern has been widely described as alt-right,[b] far right[a] and right-wing.[c] She rejects the label “alt-right”. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Southern’s videos as anti-feminist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and borderline white nationalist.[80] She is anti-multiculturalism and has called the Black Lives Matter movement a “terrorist organisation”.[81]

Gender

Southern said transgender people have a “genuine delusion” adding “It’s body dysmorphia and that is a mental illness”.[82] She criticised legal recognition for changing one’s gender, because people doing so might be “dishonest”.[81]

Southern has spoken in opposition to feminism[83] and has said that women are “not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions”,[84] and “not going to be as great being CEOs”.[82] In 2015 she attended SlutWalk and held a sign that read, “There is no rape culture in the West.”[85] She also said that it was “insane” to focus on the issue.[86]

Multiculturalism

Southern is against multiculturalism.[87] She has asked whether a multicultural society would require “witch doctors” at medical conferences,[79] and has claimed that “multiculturalism will inevitably fail unless 50 per cent of the population believes in Western culture“.[88]New Matilda reported that the core message of her 2018 speaking tour of Australia was that “multiculturalism doesn’t work”.[89] On the tour, she caused controversy for publicly criticizing an “Asian only” room-share advert that she had photographed and published as evidence of the “extremely tribalistic” nature of immigrants;[90] attempting to highlight the supposed failure of multiculturalism, in that it produced a form of “segregation”.[91]

Race

Southern defended the American alt-right leader Richard Spencer, who said “Hail Trump” in a speech at a white nationalist gathering, and called for a “peaceful” ethnic cleansing of America. Southern said he “is not a white supremacist, he is a white nationalist. He believes in a white ethnostate.”[92][93][94]

“White genocide” conspiracy theory

Southern has promoted the white genocide conspiracy theory.[95][96][97][98] She has advocated for European countries to refuse refugees from Africa and Asia, saying that immigration would lead to white genocide,[97] and has been labelled in media as a “booster” for the conspiracy at large.[99] In 2018, Southern produced a documentary called Farmlands about the conspiracy theory in relation to post-Apartheid farm violence in South Africa.[100][84] Farmlands includes claims of an impending race war in South Africa, a common talking point for white nationalists.[101]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Southern

Story 4: United Nation’s Panel Proposes That Criticisms of Mass Migration Policies  Will Be A Criminal Offense — Crushing Dissent — Migration is Not A Human Right — Videos

Nigel Farage on the free speech fight in Europe

BREAKING – PC GONE MAD: Criticising migration could become CRIMINAL offence under new plan

Dispute over UN migration pact fractures Belgian government

Belgium’s center-right government is fighting for its survival this week after the largest coalition party broke away from its three partners and said it would not back a global U.N.-backed migration pact.

The right-wing N-VA party started a social media campaign against the migration pact Tuesday, more than two months after Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged he would sign the pact for Belgium at a meeting next week in Marrakech, Morocco.

Instead of a coalition breakup, Michel announced late Tuesday he would take the issue to parliament for vote in the days to come.

“I want parliament to have its say,” Michel said, staving off an immediate collapse of the government that has been in power for three years. “I have the intention to go to Marrakech and let the position of the parliament be known.”

Michel’s statement came at the end of a hectic day dominated by an anti-pact social media campaign by the N-VA, of the biggest coalition partner.

The in-your-face campaign featured pictures of Muslim women with their faces covered and stated the U.N. pact focused on enabling migrants to retain the cultural practices of their homelands.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, is greeted by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel prior to a meeting in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Brussels to attend a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

The party quickly withdrew the materials after the campaign received widespread criticism.

“We made an error,” N-VA leader Bart De Wever told VRT network.

De Wever apologized for the pictures of women wearing face-covering niqab in western Europe, but immediately added “these pictures are not fake. You can take pictures like this every day in Brussels. It is the stark reality.”

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged at United Nations headquarters in September that he would go to a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco where the U.N.’s Global Compact Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is to be signed next week.

Amid the N-VA upheaval, a Cabinet meeting was canceled Tuesday afternoon and Michel resumed consultations with vice-premiers looking for a way out of the crisis.

Remarking on the party’s withdrawn campaign, Christian Democrat Vice Premier Kris Peeters said: “I only have one word for this – indecent.”

Even with the parliamentary vote, the options for ensuring the government’s survival were slimming down.

The United Nations says the compact will promote safe and orderly migration and reduce human smuggling and trafficking.

The N-VA said it would force Belgium into making immigration concessions. “In our democracy, we decide. The sovereignty is with the people,” the party said in a statement.

Many experts said the accord is non-binding, but the N-VA said it still went too far and would give even migrants who were in Belgium illegally many additional rights.

The U.N. compact was finalized in July with only the U.S. staying out. Several European nations have since pulled out of signing the accord during the Dec. 10-11 conference in Morocco.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6458089/Belgian-government-fights-survival-UN-migrants-pact.html

 

MALCOLM: The UN migration compact spells radical change for Canada

A family from Haiti approach a tent in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., stationed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as they haul their luggage down Roxham Rd. in Champlain, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Charles Krupa / AP

The Trudeau government is cheerleading a controversial United Nations initiative that has the potential to fundamentally change Canada.

It’s called the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and UN representatives are meeting in Morocco in December to discuss and adopt this global agreement.

It may sound like just another gathering of out-of-touch elites patting themselves on the back, and the compact’s text insists the agreement is non-binding. But the ideas proposed are not your run-of-the-mill aspirational pledges.

This UN compact is unprecedented and truly radical. It seeks to make immigration a universal human right.

“Refugees and migrants are entitled to the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled at all times,” reads the document’s preamble.

The agreement doesn’t simply apply to bona-fide refugees — those fleeing war and persecution whose government has failed to protect them. It applies to all migrants.

It seeks to change international law and norms on migration, and blur the distinction between refugees and migrants — the latter merely seeking more economic opportunity but failing to do so according to a country’s established immigration rules.

The compact stops just short of saying that every person from around the world has a right to live in Canada and become a Canadian citizen.

And it gets even worse. Alongside describing a world with no borders and no meaningful citizenship, the document includes a particularly disturbing section about the media.

One of the “guiding principles” is a “whole-of-society approach” to promoting mass migration, including the role of the media.

It calls upon governments to “promote independent, objective and quality reporting… and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants.”

So much for a free press.

The UN wants governments to actively intervene in the media and pick and choose which journalists are worthy of promoting, based on a radical ideology and far-left worldview.

Is this what the Liberal government’s new $595-million media slush fund seeks to do?

The prime minister and his top officials are known for name-calling and attacking anyone who disagrees with their dogma on immigration, diversity and multiculturalism.

Liberal officials frequently accuse opponents of being intolerant, xenophobic and racist for raising legitimate concerns about illegal immigration, border security and terrorism.

Are these accusations going to be tied to funding decisions for the media?

Will recipients of Trudeau’s media fund be prohibited from criticizing open borders and mass migration?

Will funding be tied to an attestation to promote UN propaganda?

The Trudeau government has played a leading role in advancing this UN scheme; two Trudeau cabinet minister’s admitted so much in a September article in Maclean’s Magazine.

“The UN’s global compact on refugees could be a game-changer — and Canada is well-placed to make it a reality,” they argue.

This dystopian UN plan seeks to erase borders, destroy the concept of citizenship, undermine the rule of law and circumvent state sovereignty. It would change what it means to be Canadian and prevent the media from criticizing these fundamental changes.

Several of our allies, including Australia, the U.S. and Israel have already pulled out of this disastrous UN compact. Across the world, political leaders and respected journalists are ringing the alarm bell.

In Canada, however, the Trudeau government is welcoming this UN scheme, while most Canadian journalists are failing to inform Canadians about the radical changes on our doorstep.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIONOZl-6zo

Global Compact for Migration

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is a politically binding “intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, [that covers] all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”.[1] The United Nations conference to adopt the compact will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 10–11 December 2018.[1] Austria negotiated the GCM on behalf of the EU. The Global Compact is not an international treaty, and it will not be formally binding under international law.[2]

Contents

Background

On 19 September 2016, the nations of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The Declaration recognized a need for more cooperation between nations to manage migration effectively.[3]. The declaration set off a process leading to the negotiation of the Global Compact for Migration.

A resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 6 April 2017, which decided on the modalities and timeline for the compact.[4] The agreed upon process consisted of the following three phases:

  1. Consultations (April—November 2017): six sessions in GenevaNew York and Vienna
  2. Stocktaking (December 2017—January 2018), leading to a first draft (“zero draft”)
  3. Intergovernmental negotiations (February—July 2018) at the UN Headquarters in New York

On 9 March 2017, Louise Arbour was appointed by Secretary-General Guterres as his Special Representative for International Migration and was thus tasked with working with the nations and stakeholders to develop the compact.

Substance of the agreement

There are 23 objectives listed in the draft agreement. These include collecting and using accurate and anonymized data to develop evidence-based migration policy, ensuring that all migrants have proof of identity, enhancing availability and flexibility for regular migration, encouraging cooperation for tracking missing migrants and saving lives, ensuring migrants can access basic services, and making provisions for both full inclusion of migrants and social cohesion.[5]

Countries’ positions

 Will sign the Compact
 Won’t sign the Compact
 Considering not signing[when?]
 (Data incomplete)

Austria,[6] Australia,[7] Bulgaria,[8]Croatia[9], the Czech Republic,[10]Dominican Republic,[11]Estonia,[12]HungaryItaly,[13] Israel,[14][15] Poland,[16]Slovakia[17] and Switzerland[18] won’t attend an international conference in Moroccan city of Marrakesh to sign the agreement. The United States did not participate in the negotiation of the agreement, at the behest of President Trump.[6]

Belgium: In Belgium, government party N-VA, including its Secretary of State for Migration Theo Francken, is against participating, while the three other government parties are in favour, creating a political deadlock.[19]

Denmark: On 27 November, the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen stated that he was supportive of the agreement, but that his government would form a coalition of European countries to create an opt-out.[20]

Dominican Republic: On December 4th, the Dominican government set its position on the Global Migration Pact, stipulating that the Dominican state will not sign the agreement, as reported during a press conference by the legal consultant of the Executive Branch, Flavio Darío Espinal. He also spoke about the participation of the country in the Moroccan summit and announced that the President Danilo Medina will not be in the meeting.[21]

Estonia: The Government of Estonia remained divided on the issue[22] and the country’s position was to be decided by the Riigikogu.[23] On November 26, Riigikogu passed a declaration which supported the compact. According to the Estonian Prime Minister, the declaration would provide the basis for the Governments decision to support the Global Compact for Migration.[24] On 27 November 2018, it was announced, quoting foreign minister Sven Mikser, that Estonia would not attend the Marrakesh conference and would vote for the compact at the UN General Assembly in New York City on 19 December.[25]

Finland: In Finland, the opposition Finns Party opposes the treaty and demands a vote in parliament.[26] The provisions disputed by the Finns in parliament are that both legal and illegal immigrants would be bestowed many of the same rights such as rights to basic services, that the treaty would not allow categorical detention of illegal immigrants,[27] and that the treaty would make migration a human right.[28][29]

Germany: There has been some opposition in the German parliament, led by Alternative for Germany.[30] However, the parliament voted 372–153 in favour of the compact on 29 November.

Israel: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu commented tersely: “We have a duty to protect our borders against illegal infiltrators. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what we will continue to do”.[15]

Romania: On the 28 November 2018, the Romanian Foreign Minister was authorized by the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, to sign the Migration Pact. Sources say that secret negotiations were carried out long before the news broke out. [31] [32]

Slovakia: Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajčák had previously announced that he would step down from his position if the Slovak parliament, controlled by the coalition which he represented, were to reject the Compact.[33][34]

Switzerland: Switzerland will not attend the conference for the formal adoption of the framework in December 2018. The decision was made because the parliament demanded a final say on whether the country would approve the compact, which would require more time.[35]

Criticism

The Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, stated that the compact would reduce Austria’s sovereignty and mix up the difference between illegal and legal immigration as well as that between economic and humanitarian immigration.[6]

The Australian government has criticized the agreement, claiming that it does not distinguish between legal and illegal migrants, particularly when it comes to welfare. They have also claimed that the compact could impose obligations to support migrants even when they have returned to their country of origin. The Australian government believes that the compact would undermine their current migration policies.[36][37][38][39]

Goal 17, which condemns discrimination against migrants, has been criticized due to measures for “shaping the perception of migration”. Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff raised issues with the proposal to defund news outlets espousing anti-migration rhetoric and stated that the pact could be used to criminalize political criticism.[40][41]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Compact_for_Migration

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1180, December 3, 2018, Story 1: President George H.W. Bush Returns To Washington To Lie In State — A Long Farewell — Videos — Story 2: Presidents Trump and Xi Agree To 90 Day Trade Tariff Truce After 180 Days Talking Past Each Other — Videos — Story 3: Third Week of French Protests Over Fuel Tax Increases as “Yellow Vest Movement” Protesters Go On Rampage in Paris and Spread To Other French Cities — Videos — Story 4: After Spending Over $30 Million Mueller’s Political Criminal Witch Hunt Nearing End — Videos

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Story 1: President George H.W. Bush Returns To Washington To Lie In State — Videos —

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Nightly News Broadcast (Full) – December 1, 2018 | NBC Nightly News

 

t Capitol, Bush saluted as ‘gentle soul,’ ‘great man’

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Former President George W. Bush, with his wife former first lady Laura, walks past the casket of his father, former President George H.W. Bush at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s capital embraced George H.W. Bush in death Monday with solemn ceremony and high tributes to his service and decency, as the remains of the 41st president took their place in the Capitol rotunda for three days of mourning and praise by the political elite and everyday citizens alike.

With Bush’s casket atop the Lincoln Catafalque, first used for Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 funeral, dignitaries came forward to honor the Texan whose efforts for his country extended three quarters of a century from World War II through his final years as an advocate for volunteerism and relief for people displaced by natural disaster.

President from 1989 to 1993, Bush died Friday at age 94.

In an invocation opening Monday evening’s ceremony, the U.S. House chaplain, the Rev. Patrick J Conroy, praised Bush’s commitment to public service, from Navy pilot to congressman, U.N. ambassador, envoy to China and then CIA director before being elected vice president and then president.

“Here lies a great man,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, the House speaker, and “a gentle soul. … His legacy is grace perfected.”

The casket carrying the remains of George H.W. Bush has arrived at the U.S. Capitol for the nation to begin its formal farewell to the 41st president. The president’s remains will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday morning. (Dec. 3)

Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell also spoke. President Donald Trump did not attend, but he and first lady Melania Trump came to the Capitol later Monday to pay tribute. They stood in front of the casket with their eyes closed for a few moments, before Trump saluted the casket.

Political combatants set aside their fights to honor a Republican who led in a less toxic era and at times found commonality with Democrats despite sharp policy disagreements. Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, past and incoming House speaker, exchanged a warm hug with George W. Bush and came away dabbing her face. Bush himself seemed to be holding back tears.

Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, placed wreaths in the short ceremony before the rotunda was to be opened to the public. It was to remain open overnight.

Sent off from Texas with a 21-gun salute, Bush’s casket was carried to Joint Base Andrews outside the capital city aboard an aircraft that often serves as Air Force One and designated “Special Air Mission 41” in honor of Bush’s place on the chronological list of presidents. His eldest son, former President George W. Bush, and others from the family traveled on the flight from Houston.

Cannon fire roared again outside the Capitol as the sun sank and the younger President Bush stood with his hand over his heart, watching the casket’s procession up the steps.

Bush was remembered just feet away from what he called “Democracy’s front porch,” the west-facing steps of the Capitol where he was sworn in as president.

He will lie in state in the Capitol for public visitation through Wednesday. An invitation-only funeral service, which the Trumps will attend, is set for Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral.

Although Bush’s funeral services are suffused with the flourishes accorded presidents, by his choice they will not include a formal funeral procession through downtown Washington.

On Sunday, students, staff and visitors had flocked to Bush’s presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University, with thousands of mourners paying their respects at a weekend candlelight vigil at a nearby pond and others contributing to growing flower memorials at Bush statues at both the library and a park in downtown Houston.

“I think he was one of the kindest, most generous men,” said Marge Frazier, who visited the downtown statue Sunday while showing friends from California around.

After services in Washington, Bush will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the library grounds. His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age 3.

Trump has ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.

Bush’s passing puts him back in the Washington spotlight after more than two decades living the relatively low-key life of a former president. His death also reduces membership in the ex-presidents’ club to four: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

One of Bush’s major achievements was assembling the international military coalition that liberated the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait from invading neighbor Iraq in 1991. The war lasted just 100 hours. He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

A humble hero of World War II, Bush was just 20 when he survived being shot down during a bombing run over a Japanese island. He had joined the Navy when he turned 18.

Shortly before leaving the service, he married his 19-year-old sweetheart, Barbara Pierce, and forged the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history. Bush enrolled at Yale University after military service, becoming a scholar-athlete and captaining the baseball team to two College World Series before graduating Phi Beta Kappa after just 2½ years.

After moving to Texas to work in the oil business, Bush turned his attention to politics in the 1960s. He was elected to the first of two terms in Congress in 1967. He would go on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and China, head of the CIA and chairman of the Republican National Committee before being elected to two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

Soon after he reached the height of his political popularity following the liberation of Kuwait, with public approval ratings that are the envy of today’s politicians, the U.S. economy began to sour and voters began to believe that Bush, never a great communicator — something even he acknowledged — was out of touch with ordinary people.

He was denied a second term by Arkansas Gov. Clinton, who would later become a close friend. The pair worked together to raise tens of millions of dollars for victims of a 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and of Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005.

“Who would have thought that I would be working with Bill Clinton of all people?” he joked in 2005.

In a recent essay, Clinton declared of Bush: “I just loved him.”

___

Associated Press writers Juan A. Lozano and Nomaan Merchant reported from Houston.

https://apnews.com/2b97b9b238ad4aeda3f58ef906b333a9

 

George H.W. Bush in Washington one last time: Former president’s remains land at airbase near D.C. on ‘Special Air Mission 41′ accompanied by son George W. Bush ’43’ – as America prepares to mourn until Thursday with flags at half-staff

  • Former President George H.W. Bush’s body was transported by a motorcade Monday morning to a Texas Air National Guard base and loaded onto the jet that serves as Air Force One 
  • Relatives accompanying the casket include his sons, former President George W. Bush and Neil Bush
  • The jet landed hours later at Joint Base Andrews in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., under the callsign ‘Special Air Mission 41’; Jeb Bush and his wife Columba met the rest of the family there
  • A group of 114 crew members from the USS George H.W. Bush, a modern aircraft carrier, stood at attention 
  • Bush will lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol from Monday at 7:30 p.m. until Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. 
  • State funeral will include memorial service at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the National Cathedral with President Trump in attendance but not speaking
  • After the service, Bush’s casket will be flown to Houston for another service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, followed by another public viewing 
  • Private funeral service scheduled for Thursday with about 1,200 invited guests 
  • Motorcade will transport Bush’s casket to a train station north of Houston  
  • Union Pacific train will take about 2-1/2 hours to travel roughly 70 miles to College Station, Texas, home to Bush’s presidential library at Texas A&M University 
  • Locomotive has been painted with the number ‘4141’ in honor of the 41st president; casket will be in a train car with Plexiglas windows to allow people to see it during the trip 
  • Bush will be buried near Barbara, his wife of 73 years, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3

he remains of the late U.S. President George H.W. Bush reached an airbase near Washington, D.C. on Monday, finishing one leg of a round-trip journey from Texas back to the capital where he served four years in Congress, one at the helm of the CIA, eight as vice president and four in the White House.

‘Special Air Mission 41’ – the aircraft known as Air Force One when living presidents are aboard – touched down just before 3:30 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews, where a Cadillac hearse flying the U.S. flag and bearing the Seal of the President of the United States waited on an expansive tarmac.

Along with a military band and honor guards arrayed like parade-ground marchers without a commander to review them, a contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied.

Aboard the plane with the former president’s remains were his sons George W. and Neil and their families. George W. Bush was America’s 43rd president. Former first lady Laura Bush also made the trip from Houston.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016, joined the extended family along with his wife Columba, on the tarmac.

‘Special Air Mission 41,’ the flight carrying the remains of the late former U.S. President George W. Bush, touched down Monday afternoon at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.

Former President George W. Bush (center) and former first lady Laura Bush (right) joined brother Neil Bush and his family deplaning from the jet that serves as Air Force One

Former President George W. Bush (center) and former first lady Laura Bush (right) joined brother Neil Bush and his family deplaning from the jet that serves as Air Force One

A contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush, a modern aircraft carrier, stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied on Monday

A contingent of 114 crew members of the USS George H.W. Bush, a modern aircraft carrier, stood at attention while the jumbo jetliner touched down and taxied on Monday

The late president’s casket had a military escort on both ends of Monday’s flight, with a group of eight pallbearers from a combination of the U.S. military services

Bush, the 41st U.S. president, died Friday and will be laid to rest this week following four days of ceremonies and memorials

Former President George W. Bush (left) emerged from the same plane that ferried him around the world from 2001 to 2009, with his first lady at his side

Former President George W. Bush (left) emerged from the same plane that ferried him around the world from 2001 to 2009, with his first lady at his side

Jeb Bush (right of center, front row) joined the rest of the family at Joint Base Andrews from Florida; his wife Columba is to his left

Jeb Bush (right of center, front row) joined the rest of the family at Joint Base Andrews from Florida; his wife Columba is to his left

Family and former staffers attended a brief departure ceremony Monday at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base, watching as a contingent of eight soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines took Bush’s flag-draped casket to the Boeing 747 for a last trip to Washington.

At Ellington and at Joint Base Andrews in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs, 21-gun salutes boomed and military bands played ‘Hail to the Chief.’

At JBA, they also played ‘America’ as a colo